By Onora O'Neill
Onora O'Neill means that the conceptions of person autonomy (so largely depended on in bioethics) are philosophically and ethically insufficient; they undermine instead of help relationships in line with belief. Her arguments are illustrated with concerns raised via such practices because the use of genetic info by means of the police, examine utilizing human tissues, new reproductive applied sciences, and media practices for reporting on drugs, technological know-how and know-how. The learn appeals to a variety of readers in ethics, bioethics and similar disciplines.
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Extra resources for Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics (Gifford Lectures, 2001)
We can see that knowledge of others’ reliability is not necessary for trust by the fact that we can place trust in someone with an indifferent record for reliability, or continue to place trust in others in the face of some past unreliability. Many daily relationships of trust survive a good deal of failure and unreliability; we commonly regard those who withdraw trust after a single lapse (or even after sporadic minor lapses) as excessively suspicious. Proven reliability may be nice, but it is not necessary for placing trust.
Patients are typically asked to choose from a smallish menu – often a menu of one item – that others have composed and described in simpliﬁed terms. This may suit us well when ill, but it is a far cry from any demanding exercise of individual autonomy. It is probably a considerable relief to many patients that they are not asked to muster much in the way of individual autonomy. When we are ill or injured we often lack the skills or energy for demanding cognitive tasks. Our highest priority is to get help from others and in particular from others with relevant skills and knowledge.
It is not as if doctors offer patients a smorgasbord of possible treatments and interventions, a variegated menu of care and cure. Typically a diagnosis is followed with an indication of prognosis and suggestions for treatment to be undertaken. Patients are typically asked to choose from a smallish menu – often a menu of one item – that others have composed and described in simpliﬁed terms. This may suit us well when ill, but it is a far cry from any demanding exercise of individual autonomy. It is probably a considerable relief to many patients that they are not asked to muster much in the way of individual autonomy.
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