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Autonomy and Patients' Decisions

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Historical Background Chapter 3 Kant's Idea of Autonomy Chapter 4 Millian Ideas in Contemporary Interpretations of Autonomy Chapter 5 The Development of the Contemporary Idea of Autonomy Part 6 Different Notions of Autonomy Chapter 7 Different Notions of Autonomy Identified Chapter 8 Critical Analysis of the Different Concepts Part 9 The Search for a Better, More Defensible, Theory Chapter 10 Can a Good Descriptive Psychological Account of Autonomy be Achieved? Chapter 11 Some Test Cases for Theories of Autonomy Chapter 12 Conclusion: Preliminary Ideas for a Better, More Useful, Theory for the Clinical Context

About the Author

Merle Spriggs is Ethicist at Murdoch Childrens Research Institiute, Australia.


Respect for autonomy is a core principle of modern medical ethics. But what is autonomy? In Autonomy and Patients' Decisions, Merle Spriggs brings clarity and intelligence to a vexed issue. The historical background she provides reveals how the muddles arose, and the approach she suggests offers a promising way forward. -- Peter Singer, Princeton University Autonomy is the most widely appealed to concept in contemporary bioethics, but it is arguably the least well understood. This book is a great resource for developing a more sophisticated understanding of this much contested concept. I thoroughly recommend it. -- Lynn Gillam, University of Melbourne

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