Autonomy, Informed Consent and Medical Law: A Relational by Alasdair Maclean

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By Alasdair Maclean

Alasdair Maclean analyses the moral foundation for consent to scientific remedy, offering either an in depth reconsideration of the moral matters and an in depth exam of English legislations. Importantly, the research is given a context by way of situating consent on the centre of the healthcare professional-patient courting. this permits the advance of a relational version that balances the supplier of the 2 events with their tasks that come up from that courting. That relational version is then used to critique the present felony legislation of consent. To finish, Alasdair Maclean considers the longer term improvement of the legislation and contrasts the version of relational consent with Neil Manson and Onora O'Neill's contemporary inspiration for a version of real consent.

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If the cost to the community is too high then it may be justifiable to limit individual autonomy. This may be explained by Feinberg’s garrison model: in a situation when the community’s very existence is under threat then the selfish decision of a single person may tip the balance. 97 This justification, however, is simply the harm principle applied to the community rather than to individual others. It depends on seeing the destruction of the community as harm and on the existence of a minimal obligation towards the community that would be breached by failing to assist it in such times of need.

Autonomy as rational self-determination Beyond simple self-determination, autonomy requires at least some capacity for rationality. This has the consequence of creating a real distinction between an autonomous act and the acts of an autonomous person, not all of which will be rational. The importance of this distinction will be considered later. However, the inclusion of a requirement for rationality raises two further issues. First, which conception of rationality should be adopted? Second, how much rationality is required?

64 However, while autonomy may be necessary to agency it is arguably not sufficient. 66 This simply shifts the debate to the value of agency, which derives from the control agents have over their lives; while agency does not stop us from being acted upon it does allow us to shape and affect the world and our own lives within it. Although the value of agency rests in the possibility of control, its importance does not lie in independence from others’ influence. The claim that I would rather make a bad decision than cede the decision 62 63 64 65 66 O’Neill, Autonomy and Trust, p.

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