The Porosity of Autonomy: Social and Biological Constitution of the Patient in Biomedicine

American Journal of Bioethics 16 (2):34-45 (2016)
Authors
Nicolae Morar
University of Oregon
Jonathan Beever
University of Central Florida
Abstract
The nature and role of the patient in biomedicine comprise issues central to bioethical inquiry. Given its developmental history grounded firmly in a backlash against 20th-century cases of egregious human subjects abuse, contemporary medical bioethics has come to rely on a fundamental assumption: the unit of care is the autonomous self-directing patient. In this article we examine first the structure of the feminist social critique of autonomy. Then we show that a parallel argument can be made against relational autonomy as well, demonstrating how this second concept of autonomy fails to take sufficiently into account an array of biological determinants, particularly those from microbial biology. Finally, in light of this biological critique, we question whether or to what extent any relevant and meaningful view of autonomy can be recovered in the contemporary landscape of bioethics
Keywords autonomy  bioethics  feminist ethics  microbial biology  individual  ecosystem
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DOI 10.1080/15265161.2015.1120793
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Myth of the Individual.Lorraine Code - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (2):59-60.

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