Autonomy, liberty, and medical decision-making

Coggon, John and Miola, José (2011) Autonomy, liberty, and medical decision-making. Cambridge Law Journal, 70, (3), 523-547. (doi:10.1017/S0008197311000845).


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A central tenet to much ethical argument within medical law is patient autonomy. Although we have seen a welcome move away from a system governed by largely unchecked paternalism, there is not universal agreement on the direction in which medical law should advance. Competing concerns for greater welfare and individual freedom, complicated by an overarching commitment to value-pluralism, make this a tricky area of policy-development. Furthermore, there are distinct understandings of, and justifications for, different conceptions of autonomy. In this paper, we argue that in response to these issues, there has been a failure by the courts properly to distinguish political concepts of liberty and moral concepts of autonomy.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1017/S0008197311000845
ISSNs: 0008-1973 (print)
1469-2139 (electronic)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Business and Law > Southampton Law School
ePrint ID: 342812
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
November 2011Published
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2012 15:15
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:34

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