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The Theory and Practice of Autonomy

Cambridge University Press (1988)

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  1. Autonomy and Enhancement.G. Owen Schaefer, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):123-136.
    Some have objected to human enhancement on the grounds that it violates the autonomy of the enhanced. These objections, however, overlook the interesting possibility that autonomy itself could be enhanced. How, exactly, to enhance autonomy is a difficult problem due to the numerous and diverse accounts of autonomy in the literature. Existing accounts of autonomy enhancement rely on narrow and controversial conceptions of autonomy. However, we identify one feature of autonomy common to many mainstream accounts: reasoning ability. Autonomy can then (...)
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  • Republican Dignity: The Importance of Taking Offence.Jan-Willem Van Der Rujt - 2009 - Law and Philosophy 28 (5):465-492.
    This paper analyses the republican notion of non-domination from the viewpoint of individual dignity. It determines the aspect of individual dignity that republicans are concerned with and scrutinises how it is safeguarded by non-domination. I argue that the notion of non-domination as it is formulated by Pettit contains a number of ambiguities that need to be addressed. I discuss these ambiguities and argue for specific solutions that place great importance on a person's moral beliefs and his status as a moral (...)
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  • Second-Order Desire Accounts of Autonomy.Dennis Loughrey - 1998 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (2):211 – 229.
    The autonomous person is one who has, in some sense, mastery over their desires. The prevailing way to understand such personal autonomy is in terms of a hierarchy of desires. For Harry Frankfurt, persons not only have first-order desires, but possess the additional capacity to form second-order desires. Second-order desires are formed through reflection on first-order desires and are thus expressive of the rational capacity which is characteristic of persons. Frankfurt's account of freedom of the will is founded on his (...)
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  • Autonomy in HIV Testing: A Call for a Rethink of Personal Autonomy in the HIV Response in Sub-Saharan Africa.Kasoka Kasoka - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (3):519-536.
    The author reviews various conceptions of autonomy to show that humans are actually not autonomous, strictly speaking. He argues for a need to rethink the personal autonomy approaches to HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa countries. HIV/aids has remained a leading cause of disease burden in SSA. It is important to bring this disease burden under control, especially given the availability of current effective antiretroviral regimens in low- and middle-income countries. In most SSA countries the ethic or value of personal autonomy (...)
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  • The Impossibility of Reliably Determining the Authenticity of Desires: Implications for Informed Consent.Jesper Ahlin - 2018 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (1):43-50.
    It is sometimes argued that autonomous decision-making requires that the decision-maker’s desires are authentic, i.e., “genuine,” “truly her own,” “not out of character,” or similar. In this article, it is argued that a method to reliably determine the authenticity (or inauthenticity) of a desire cannot be developed. A taxonomy of characteristics displayed by different theories of authenticity is introduced and applied to evaluate such theories categorically, in contrast to the prior approach of treating them individually. The conclusion is drawn that, (...)
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  • A New Era in Prenatal Testing: Are We Prepared? [REVIEW]Dagmar Schmitz - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):357-364.
    Prenatal care and the practice of prenatal genetic testing are about to be changed fundamentally. Due to several ground-breaking technological developments prenatal screening and diagnosis (PND) will soon be offered earlier in gestation, with less procedure-related risks and for a profoundly enlarged variety of targets. In this paper it is argued that the existing normative framework for prenatal screening and diagnosis cannot answer adequately to these new developments. In concentrating on issues of informed consent and the reproductive autonomy of the (...)
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  • Autonomy-Based Arguments Against Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: A Critique. [REVIEW]Manne Sjöstrand, Gert Helgesson, Stefan Eriksson & Niklas Juth - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (2):225-230.
    Respect for autonomy is typically considered a key reason for allowing physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. However, several recent papers have claimed this to be grounded in a misconception of the normative relevance of autonomy. It has been argued that autonomy is properly conceived of as a value, and that this makes assisted suicide as well as euthanasia wrong, since they destroy the autonomy of the patient. This paper evaluates this line of reasoning by investigating the conception of valuable autonomy. (...)
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  • Patient Autonomy and Choice in Healthcare: Self-Testing Devices as a Case in Point.Anna-Marie Greaney, Dónal P. O’Mathúna & P. Anne Scott - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (4):383-395.
    This paper aims to critique the phenomenon of advanced patient autonomy and choice in healthcare within the specific context of self-testing devices. A growing number of self-testing medical devices are currently available for home use. The premise underpinning many of these devices is that they assist individuals to be more autonomous in the assessment and management of their health. Increased patient autonomy is assumed to be a good thing. We take issue with this assumption and argue that self-testing provides a (...)
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  • Reproductive Autonomous Choice – A Cherished Illusion? Reproductive Autonomy Examined in the Context of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis.Kristin Zeiler - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7 (2):175-183.
    Enhancement of autonomous choice may be considered as an important reason for facilitating the use of genetic tests such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis. The principle of respect for autonomy is a crucial component not only of Western liberal traditions but also of Western bioethics. This is especially so in bioethical discussions and analyses of clinical encounters within medicine. On the basis of an analysis of qualitative research interviews performed with British, Italian and Swedish geneticists and gynaecologists on ethical aspects of (...)
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  • Why Strawson’s Basic Argument Is Not Impressive: an Answer from Frankfurt, Christman and Ekstrom.Fei Song - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1595-1607.
    Galen Strawson defends his pessimist position with his famous “Basic Argument”. He attempts to prove that no agent can meet the demands for the ultimate moral responsibility. I argue that the Basic Argument is not impressive because it commits to a linear justification framework under which not only the notion of free will and moral responsibility but every notion would inevitably involve a vicious infinite regress. Surprisingly, this point has not been significantly addressed in the literature of Strawson’s Basic Argument. (...)
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  • Defining Ourselves: Personal Bioinformation as a Tool of Narrative Self-Conception.Emily Postan - 2016 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 13 (1):133-151.
    Where ethical or regulatory questions arise about an individual’s interests in accessing bioinformation about herself, the value of this information has traditionally been construed in terms of its clinical utility. It is increasingly argued, however, that the “personal utility” of findings should also be taken into account. This article characterizes one particular aspect of personal utility: that derived from the role of personal bioinformation in identity construction. The suggestion that some kinds of information are relevant to identity is not in (...)
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  • Resolved and Unresolved Bioethical Authenticity Problems.Jesper Ahlin Marceta - 2020 - Monash Bioethics Review 38 (1):1-14.
    Respect for autonomy is a central moral principle in bioethics. It is sometimes argued that authenticity, i.e., being “real,” “genuine,” “true to oneself,” or similar, is crucial to a person’s autonomy. Patients sometimes make what appears to be inauthentic decisions, such as when anorexia nervosa patients refuse treatment to avoid gaining weight, despite that the risk of harm is very high. If such decisions are inauthentic, and therefore non-autonomous, it may be the case they should be overridden for paternalist reasons. (...)
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  • Does Remuneration for Plasma Compromise Autonomy?Lucie White - 2015 - HEC Forum 27 (4):387-400.
    In accordance with a recent statement released by the World Health Organization, the Canadian province of Ontario is moving to ban payment for plasma donation. This is partially based on contentions that remuneration for blood and blood products undermines autonomy and personal dignity. This paper is dedicated to evaluating this claim. I suggest that traditional autonomy-based arguments against commodification of human body parts and substances are less compelling in the context of plasma donation in Canada, but that there is another (...)
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  • Ageism and Autonomy in Health Care: Explorations Through a Relational Lens.Laura Pritchard-Jones - 2017 - Health Care Analysis 25 (1):72-89.
    Ageism within the context of care has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Similarly, autonomy has developed into a prominent concept within health care law and ethics. This paper explores the way that ageism, understood as a set of negative attitudes about old age or older people, may impact on an older person’s ability to make maximally autonomous decisions within health care. In particular, by appealing to feminist constructions of autonomy as relational, I will argue that the key to establishing (...)
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  • Criminal Law and the Autonomy Assumption: Adorno, Bhaskar, and Critical Legal Theory.Craig Reeves - 2014 - Journal of Critical Realism 13 (4):339-367.
    This article considers and criticizes criminal law‘s assumption of the moral autonomy of individuals, showing how that view rests on questionable and obscure Kantian commitments about the self, and proposes a naturalistic alternative developed through a synthetic reading of Adorno‘s and Bhaskar‘s account of the subject in relation to nature and society. As an embodied, emergent, changing subject whose practically rational powers are emergent, polymorphous, and contingent, the subject‘s moral autonomy is dependent on the conditions for experiences of solidarity in (...)
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  • Autonomy, Perfectionism and the Justification of Education.Johannes Drerup - 2015 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 34 (1):63-87.
    This paper is concerned with the practical importance of different forms of paternalism for educational theory and practice. Contrary to the traditional treatment of paternalism as a sometimes necessary and rather messy aspect of educational practices, I demonstrate that paternalism is to be regarded as an “indigenous concept” of educational theory and as the ‘indigenous model of justification’ that underlies the structure of educational practices. Based on an analysis of the intricate nexus between autonomy-oriented forms of paternalism and educational forms (...)
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  • Adherence in Paediatric Renal Failure and Dialysis: An Ethical Analysis of Nurses’ Attitudes and Reported Practice.Joe Scott Mellor, Sally-Anne Hulton & Heather Draper - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):151-156.
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  • Problems with Autonomy.Beate Rössler - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (4):143-162.
    : The article first develops an account of autonomy, explaining individual autonomy by means of three normative components and then discussing two objections. The first objection claims that autonomy has to be thought of as essentially relational; this objection is refuted. The second objection, labeled the skeptical objection, claims that we simply do not live autonomously, nor could we ever. Reference is made to novels by Iris Murdoch to present a skeptical solution to this objection.
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  • Problems with Autonomy.Beate Rössler - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (4):143-162.
    The article first develops an account of autonomy, explaining individual autonomy by means of three normative components and then discussing two objections. The first objection claims that autonomy has to be thought of as essentially relational; this objection is refuted. The second objection, labeled the skeptical objection, claims that we simply do not live autonomously, nor could we ever. Reference is made to novels by Iris Murdoch to present a skeptical solution to this objection.
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  • Should Paramedics Ever Accept Patients' Refusal of Treatment or Further Assessment?Halvor Nordby - 2013 - BMC Medical Ethics 14 (1):1-5.
    BackgroundThis case report discusses an ethical communication dilemma in prehospital patient interaction, involving a patient who was about to board a plane at a busy airport. The article argues that the situation raised dilemmas about communication, patient autonomy and paternalism. Paramedics should be able to find good solutions to these dilemmas, but they have not received much attention in the literature on prehospital ambulance work.Case presentationThe patient had chest pains that were consistent with serious heart disease, but she wanted to (...)
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  • Autonomy, Oppression, and Respect.Andrea Wilson - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    While it is intuitive to many that oppressive socialization undermines autonomy in virtue of its ability to shape the desires and values of the oppressed, it’s difficult to provide a plausible account of autonomy that can explain when and why socialization is autonomy undermining. I provide such an account, arguing that self-respect is a necessary condition for autonomous choice and that oppressive socialization functions in part by undermining the self-respect of the oppressed. On my account, our choices lack autonomy to (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Manipulation Arguments, and History: Assessing the Resilience of Nonhistorical Compatibilism. [REVIEW]Michael McKenna - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):145-174.
    Manipulation arguments for incompatibilism all build upon some example or other in which an agent is covertly manipulated into acquiring a psychic structure on the basis of which she performs an action. The featured agent, it is alleged, is manipulated into satisfying conditions compatibilists would take to be sufficient for acting freely. Such an example used in the context of an argument for incompatibilism is meant to elicit the intuition that, due to the pervasiveness of the manipulation, the agent does (...)
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  • Organised Assistance to Suicide in England?Christoph Rehmann-Sutter & Lynn Hagger - 2013 - Health Care Analysis 21 (2):85-104.
    Guidelines provided by the Director of Public Prosecutions suggest that anyone assisting another to commit suicide in England and Wales, or elsewhere, will not be prosecuted provided there are no self-seeking motives and no active encouragement. This reflects the position in Switzerland. There, however, no difference is made between assistance and inducement. In addition, the Swiss approach makes it possible to establish organisations to assist the suicides of both their citizens and foreign visitors. It should not be assumed that this (...)
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  • The Importance of Reliable Information Exchange in Emergency Practices: A Misunderstanding That Was Uncovered Before It Was Too Late.Halvor Nordby - 2015 - BMC Medical Ethics 16 (1):1-6.
    BackgroundMany medical emergency practices are regulated by written procedures that normally provide reliable guidelines for action. In some cases, however, the consequences of following rule-based instructions can have unintended negative consequences. The article discusses a case - described on a type level - where the consequences of following a rule formulation could have been fatal.Case presentationA weak and elderly patient has cardiac arrest, and a Do Not Resuscitate clause is written in the patient’s medical record. Paramedics at the scene cannot (...)
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  • Kant, Copyright and Communicative Freedom.Anne Barron - 2012 - Law and Philosophy 31 (1):1-48.
    The rapid recent expansion of copyright law worldwide has sparked efforts to defend the ‘public domain’ of non-propertized information, often on the ground that an expansive public domain is a condition of a ‘free culture’. Yet questions remain about why the public domain is worth defending, what exactly a free culture is, and what role (if any) authors’ rights might play in relation to it. From the standard liberal perspective shared by many critics of copyright expansionism, the protection of individual (...)
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  • Does Memory Modification Threaten Our Authenticity?Alexandre Erler - 2011 - Neuroethics 4 (3):235-249.
    One objection to enhancement technologies is that they might lead us to live inauthentic lives. Memory modification technologies (MMTs) raise this worry in a particularly acute manner. In this paper I describe four scenarios where the use of MMTs might be said to lead to an inauthentic life. I then undertake to justify that judgment. I review the main existing accounts of authenticity, and present my own version of what I call a “true self” account (intended as a complement, rather (...)
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  • Bioethics and the Rule of Law: A Classical Liberal Theory.Michael Brodrick - 2020 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (3):277-296.
    Heated debates over healthcare policy in the United States point to the need for a legal framework that can sustain both moral diversity and peaceful cooperation. It is argued that the classical liberal Rule of Law, with its foundation in the ethical principle of permission, is such a framework. The paper shows to what extent the current healthcare policy landscape in the United States diverges from the rule of law and suggests how the current framework could be modified in order (...)
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  • Paternalism and the Ill-Informed Agent.Jason Hanna - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (4):421-439.
    Most anti-paternalists claim that informed and competent self-regarding choices are protected by autonomy, while ill-informed or impaired self-regarding choices are not. Joel Feinberg, among many others, argues that we can in this way distinguish impermissible “hard” paternalism from permissible “soft” paternalism. I argue that this view confronts two related problems in its treatment of ill-informed decision-makers. First, it faces a dilemma when applied to decision-makers who are responsible for their ignorance: it either permits too much, or else too little, intervention (...)
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  • Consent and the Problem of Framing Effects.Jason Hanna - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (5):517-531.
    Our decision-making is often subject to framing effects: alternative but equally informative descriptions of the same options elicit different choices. When a decision-maker is vulnerable to framing, she may consent under one description of the act, which suggests that she has waived her right, yet be disposed to dissent under an equally informative description of the act, which suggests that she has not waived her right. I argue that in such a case the decision-maker’s consent is simply irrelevant to the (...)
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  • Bioethical Issues in Dental Practice and Prevention: Is Dentistry Paternalistic?Nusrat Fatema Chowdhury - 2017 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 27 (6):186-189.
    Paternalism is not acceptable in dentistry today because it eliminates the patients’ right to choose the treatment they feel is right for them, even if their choice is not what the doctor feels is best. Paternalism violates the patient’s autonomy and self-determination. Dentists accept the ethical principle of non-maleficence and in many countries, are also recognizing the right to informed consent. Most people trust health professionals who serve them. Dentists are among the trusted professionals, and the paper will investigate the (...)
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  • On the Importance of History for Responsible Agency.Manuel Vargas - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (3):351-382.
    In this article I propose a resolution to the history issue for responsible agency, given a moderate revisionist approach to responsibility. Roughly, moderate revisionism is the view that a plausible and normatively adequate theory of responsibility will require principled departures from commonsense thinking. The history issue is whether morally responsible agency – that is, whether an agent is an apt target of our responsibility-characteristic practices and attitudes – is an essentially historical notion. Some have maintained that responsible agents must have (...)
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  • Don't Ask, Look! Linguistic Corpora as a Tool for Conceptual Analysis.Roland Bluhm - 2013 - In Migue Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico. pp. 7-15.
    Ordinary Language Philosophy has largely fallen out of favour, and with it the belief in the primary importance of analyses of ordinary language for philosophical purposes. Still, in their various endeavours, philosophers not only from analytic but also from other backgrounds refer to the use and meaning of terms of interest in ordinary parlance. In doing so, they most commonly appeal to their own linguistic intuitions. Often, the appeal to individual intuitions is supplemented by reference to dictionaries. In recent times, (...)
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  • What Range of Future Scenarios Should Climate Policy Be Based On? Modal Falsificationism and its Limitations.Gregor Betz - 2009 - Philosophia Naturalis 46 (1):133-158.
    Climate policy decisions are decisions under uncertainty and are, therefore, based on a range of future climate scenarios, describing possible consequences of alternative policies. Accordingly, the methodology for setting up such a scenario range becomes pivotal in climate policy advice. The preferred methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be characterised as ,,modal verificationism"; it suffers from severe shortcomings which disqualify it for scientific policy advice. Modal falsificationism, as a more sound alternative, would radically alter the way the (...)
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  • Why Option Generation Matters for the Design of Autonomous E-Coaching Systems.Bart Kamphorst & Annemarie Kalis - 2015 - AI and Society 30 (1):77-88.
    Autonomous e-coaching systems offer their users suggestions for action, thereby affecting the user's decision-making process. More specifically, the suggestions that these systems make influence the options for action that people actually consider. Surprisingly though, options and the corresponding process of option generation --- a decision-making stage preceding intention formation and action selection --- has received very little attention in the various disciplines studying decision making. We argue that this neglect is unjustified and that it is important, particularly for designers of (...)
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  • Autonomies in Interaction: Dimensions of Patient Autonomy and Non-Adherence to Treatment.Ion Arrieta Valero - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Solidarity and Responsibility in Health Care.Ben Davies & Julian Savulescu - 2019 - Public Health Ethics 12 (2):133-144.
    Some healthcare systems are said to be grounded in solidarity because healthcare is funded as a form of mutual support. This article argues that health care systems that are grounded in solidarity have the right to penalise some users who are responsible for their poor health. This derives from the fact that solidary systems involve both rights and obligations and, in some cases, those who avoidably incur health burdens violate obligations of solidarity. Penalties warranted include direct patient contribution to costs, (...)
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  • Why Animals Have an Interest in Freedom.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2015 - Historical Social Research 40 (4):92-109.
    Do non-human animals have an interest in sociopolitical freedom? Cochrane has recently taken up this important yet largely neglected quest ion. He argues that animal freedom is not a relevant moral concern in itself, because animals have a merely instrumental but not an intrinsic interest in freedom (Cochrane 2009a, 2012). This paper will argue that even if animals have a merely instrumental interest in freedom, animal freedom should nonetheless be an important goal for our relationships with animals. Drawing on recent (...)
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  • The Need for Authenticity-Based Autonomy in Medical Ethics.Lucie White - 2018 - HEC Forum 30 (3):191-209.
    The notion of respect for autonomy dominates bioethical discussion, though what qualifies precisely as autonomous action is notoriously elusive. In recent decades, the notion of autonomy in medical contexts has often been defined in opposition to the notion of autonomy favoured by theoretical philosophers. Where many contemporary theoretical accounts of autonomy place emphasis on a condition of “authenticity”, the special relation a desire must have to the self, bioethicists often regard such a focus as irrelevant to the concerns of medical (...)
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  • Neuro-Interventions as Criminal Rehabilitation: An Ethical Review.Jonathan Pugh & Thomas Douglas - 2017 - In Jonathan D. Jacobs & Jonathan Jackson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics. London: Routledge.
    According to a number of influential views in penal theory, 1 one of the primary goals of the criminal justice system is to rehabilitate offenders. Rehabilitativemeasures are commonly included as a part of a criminal sentence. For example, in some jurisdictions judges may order violent offenders to attend anger management classes or to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy as a part of their sentences. In a limited number of cases, neurointerventions — interventions that exert a direct biological effect on the brain (...)
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  • Voluntary Euthanasia, Physician-Assisted Suicide, and the Goals of Medicine.Jukka Varelius - 2006 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (2):121 – 137.
    It is plausible that what possible courses of action patients may legitimately expect their physicians to take is ultimately determined by what medicine as a profession is supposed to do and, consequently, that we can determine the moral acceptability of voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide on the basis of identifying the proper goals of medicine. This article examines the main ways of defining the proper goals of medicine found in the recent bioethics literature and argues that they cannot provide a (...)
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  • Conscious Will, Reason-Responsiveness, and Moral Responsibility.Markus E. Schlosser - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):205-232.
    Empirical evidence challenges many of the assumptions that underlie traditional philosophical and commonsense conceptions of human agency. It has been suggested that this evidence threatens also to undermine free will and moral responsibility. In this paper, I will focus on the purported threat to moral responsibility. The evidence challenges assumptions concerning the ability to exercise conscious control and to act for reasons. This raises an apparent challenge to moral responsibility as these abilities appear to be necessary for morally responsible agency. (...)
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  • Autonomy, Agency, and the Value of Enduring Beliefs.Jason Kawall - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):pp. 107-129.
    My central thesis is that philosophers considering questions of epistemic value ought to devote greater attention to the enduring nature of beliefs. I begin by arguing that a commonly drawn analogy between beliefs and actions is flawed in important respects, and that a better, more fruitful analogue for belief would be desire, or a similarly enduring state of an agent. With this in hand, I argue that treating beliefs as enduring, constitutive states of agents allows us to capture the importance (...)
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  • Organ Donor Registration Policies and the Wrongness of Forcing People to Think of Their Own Death.Tomasz Żuradzki & Katarzyna Marchewka - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (11):35-37.
    MacKay and Robinson (2016) claim that some legal procedures that regulate organ donations (VAC, opt-in, opt-out) bypass people's rational capacities and thus are “potentially morally worse than MAC”, which only employs a very mild form of coercion. We provide a critique of their argumentation and defend the opposite thesis: MAC is potentially morally worse than the three other options.
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  • What Justifies Judgments of Inauthenticity?Jesper Ahlin - 2018 - HEC Forum 30 (4):361-377.
    The notion of authenticity, i.e., being “genuine,” “real,” or “true to oneself,” is sometimes held as critical to a person’s autonomy, so that inauthenticity prevents the person from making autonomous decisions or leading an autonomous life. It has been pointed out that authenticity is difficult to observe in others. Therefore, judgments of inauthenticity have been found inadequate to underpin paternalistic interventions, among other things. This article delineates what justifies judgments of inauthenticity. It is argued that for persons who wish to (...)
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  • Empathy, Social Media, and Directed Altruistic Living Organ Donation.Greg Moorlock & Heather Draper - 2018 - Bioethics 32 (5):289-297.
    In this article we explore some of the ethical dimensions of using social media to increase the number of living kidney donors. Social media provides a platform for changing non-identifiable ‘statistical victims’ into ‘real people’ with whom we can identify and feel empathy: the so-called ‘identifiable victim effect’, which prompts charitable action. We examine three approaches to promoting kidney donation using social media which could take advantages of the identifiable victim effect: institutionally organized campaigns based on historical cases aimed at (...)
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  • Ecosystem Services and the Value of Places.Simon James - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):101-113.
    In the US Environmental Protection Agency, the World Wide Fund for Nature and many other environmental organisations, it is standard practice to evaluate particular woods, wetlands and other such places on the basis of the ‘ecosystem services’ they are thought to provide. I argue that this practice cannot account for one important way in which places are of value to human beings. When they play integral roles in our lives, particular places have a kind of value which cannot be adequately (...)
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  • What's Wrong with Tombstoning and What Does This Tell Us About Responsibility for Health?Paul C. Snelling - 2014 - Public Health Ethics 7 (2):144-157.
    Using tombstoning (jumping from a height into water) as an example, this article claims that public health policies and health promotion tend to assess the moral status of activities following a version of health maximizing rule utilitarianism, but this does not represent common moral experience, not least because it fails to take into account the enjoyment that various health effecting habits brings and the contribution that this makes to a good life, variously defined. It is proposed that the moral status (...)
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  • Respecting Autonomy in Population Policy: An Argument for International Family Planning Programs.B. S. Hale & L. Hale - 2010 - Public Health Ethics 3 (2):157-166.
    This paper addresses whether universal, general education programs are enough to satisfy basic criteria of human rights, or whether comprehensive family planning programs, in conjunction with universal education programs, might also be morally required. Even before the Reagan administration instituted the ‘global gag rule’ at the 1984 conference in Mexico City, prohibiting funding to nongovernmental organizations that included providing information about abortion as a possible method of family planning, the moral acceptability of family planning programs has been called into question. (...)
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  • Why We Should Not Set a Minimum Price Per Unit of Alcohol.T. Walker - 2010 - Public Health Ethics 3 (2):107-114.
    In some places consumption of alcohol raises serious public health issues. One recent proposal for addressing these issues has been to set a minimum price at which a unit of alcohol can be sold. In this paper I argue that such a policy, while it may have substantial health benefits, is ethically problematic. This is primarily because it unfairly places considerable burdens on those already most disadvantaged in society. In addition, such policies are poorly targeted if our concern is with (...)
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  • Public Health Ethics and Liberalism.Lubomira V. Radoilska - 2009 - Public Health Ethics 2 (2):135-145.
    This paper defends a distinctly liberal approach to public health ethics and replies to possible objections. In particular, I look at a set of recent proposals aiming to revise and expand liberalism in light of public health's rationale and epidemiological findings. I argue that they fail to provide a sociologically informed version of liberalism. Instead, they rest on an implicit normative premise about the value of health, which I show to be invalid. I then make explicit the unobvious, republican background (...)
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