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Sunday, 22 September 2013

The first medical ism-Autonomy

From Prof. David Smith's course:
Definition of Autonomy:
      The right of persons to make authentic choices about what they shall do, and what shall be done to them and, as far as is possible, what should happen to them.
is that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights;
each one is endowed with reason and conscience;
therefore, all should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
 (as expressed in the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948)

The Catholic can already see the problems of this ism-and in medicine it has the extrapolation that the patient can decide for themselves their treatment, including euthanasia where legal, or abortion, if these decisions come from the patient's own ethical system. The doctor cannot impose his or her beliefs.

Autonomy also means that the patient is entirely responsible for his own decision, which is convenient for a doctor, who then does not have to be responsible morally for death, or destruction of a fetus, for example. 

Are you feeling queasy about this approach? Good. This approach is part of the system of Principlism taught throughout the entire world.

To be continued....