Inclusive and relevant language: the use of the concepts of autonomy, dignity and vulnerability in different contexts [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (3):203-213 (2010)

The article analyses the three terms autonomy, dignity and vulnerability. The relevance and practical application of the terms is tested in two spheres. First, as guiding principles in the area of ethics of medicines and science. Second, as human rights principles, serving to guide the conduct of public policies for an effective realization of human rights. The article argues that all human beings have the same dignity, but that the autonomy—and therefore vulnerability—differs considerably. Simply said, with reduced autonomy comes increased vulnerability, implying extra attention to the protective dimensions. The article finds that the three terms approach the protection of human beings in different ways and that all are relevant and applicable in both spheres, but that an isolated notion of autonomy and a ‘group-based’ notion of vulnerability are not adequate.
Keywords Autonomy  Bioethics  Dignity  Health care ethics  Human rights  Medical ethics  Vulnerability
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11019-010-9242-7
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,031
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

The Theory and Practice of Autonomy.Gerald Dworkin - 1988 - Philosophy 64 (250):571-572.
Life's Dominion.Melissa Lane & Ronald Dworkin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):413.
Bioethics, Vulnerability, and Protection.Ruth Macklin - 2003 - Bioethics 17 (5-6):472--486.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Human Dignity as a Right.Shaoping Gan - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370-384.
Vulnerability: What Kind of Principle is It?Michael H. Kottow - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7 (3):281-287.
Dignity: Not Such a Useless Concept.Suzy Killmister - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (3):160-164.
Human Dignity as a Right.Gan Shaoping & Zhang Lin - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370 - 384.
Human Rights, Human Dignity, and Power.Pablo Gilabert - 2015 - In Rowan Cruft, Matthew Liao & Massimo Renzo (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights. Oxford University Press. pp. 196-213.
Human Rights and Human Dignity.Doris Schroeder - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):323-335.
Dignity and Technology.Zbigniew Szawarski - 1989 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (3):243-249.


Added to PP index

Total views
30 ( #264,847 of 2,236,223 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #68,105 of 2,236,223 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature