Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics (Gifford Lectures, 2001) by Onora O'Neill

By Onora O'Neill

Onora O'Neill means that the conceptions of person autonomy (so commonly depended on in bioethics) are philosophically and ethically insufficient; they undermine instead of aid relationships according to belief. Her arguments are illustrated with concerns raised by means of such practices because the use of genetic details through the police, learn 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)

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The older assumption that relations of trust are in themselves enough to safeguard a weaker, dependent party was increasingly dismissed as naive. The only trust that is well placed is given by those who understand what is proposed, and who are in a position to refuse or choose in the light of that understanding. We can look at the same image with a less innocent eye, and see it as raising all these questions about the traditional doctor–patient relationship. In this second way of seeing the picture the doctor dominates: the white coat and intimidating office are symbols of her professional authority; the patient’s anxious and discontented expression reveals how little this is a relationship of trust.

He suggested that it has been variously equated with Liberty (positive or negative) . . dignity, integrity, individuality, independence, responsibility and self-knowledge . . self-assertion . . critical reflection . . freedom from obligation . . absence of external causation . .    Michael Power, The Audit Explosion, Demos,  and The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification, Oxford University Press, . Gerald Dworkin, The Theory and Practice of Autonomy, Cambridge University Press, , .

Rational autonomy are the two deepest convictions is committed to the assumption that they are indeed reconcilable’, John Stuart Mill, . Autonomy, individuality and consent  Mill himself argues that ‘Civil or Social Liberty’ is the only way to secure the development and flourishing of ‘persons of individuality and character’, that is of persons who have (a particular version of ) what is now usually called personal or individual autonomy.  Mill’s version of autonomy within a naturalistic setting sees individuals not merely as choosing to implement whatever desires they happen to have at a given moment, but as taking charge of those desires, as reflecting on and selecting among them in distinctive ways: A person whose desires and impulses are his own – are the expression of his own nature, as it has been developed and modified by his own culture – is said to have a character.

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