Coggon, John and Miola, José
Autonomy, liberty, and medical decision-making
Cambridge Law Journal, 70, (3), . (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.
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