Making a difference: incorporating theories of autonomy into models of informed consent

Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (9):e3-e3 (2008)
Background: Obtaining patients’ informed consent is an ethical and legal obligation in healthcare practice. Whilst the law provides prescriptive rules and guidelines, ethical theories of autonomy provide moral foundations. Models of practice of consent, have been developed in the bioethical literature to assist in understanding and integrating the ethical theory of autonomy and legal obligations into the clinical process of obtaining a patient’s informed consent to treatment.Aims: To review four models of consent and analyse the way each model incorporates the ethical meaning of autonomy and how, as a consequence, they might change the actual communicative process of obtaining informed consent within clinical contexts.Methods: An iceberg framework of consent is used to conceptualise how ethical theories of autonomy are positioned and underpin the above surface, and visible clinical communication, including associated legal guidelines and ethical rules. Each model of consent is critically reviewed from the perspective of how it might shape the process of informed consent.Results and discussion: All four models would alter the process of obtaining consent. Two models provide structure and guidelines for the content and timing of obtaining patients’ consent. The two other models rely on an attitudinal shift in clinicians. They provide ideas for consent by focusing on underlying values, attitudes and meaning associated with the ethical meaning of autonomy.Conclusions: The paper concludes that models of practice that explicitly incorporate the underlying ethical meaning of autonomy as their basis, provide less prescriptive, but more theoretically rich guidance for healthcare communicative practices
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2007.023804
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
N. Stoljar (2011). Informed Consent and Relational Conceptions of Autonomy. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):375-384.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #254,623 of 1,932,483 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #197,457 of 1,932,483 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.