Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 23 (5):516 – 532 (1998)
In recent years there has been an increasing critique of the philosophically based reasoning in bioethics which is known as principlism. This article seeks to make a postmodern contribution to this emerging debate by using notions of power and discourse to highlight the limits and superficiality of this , rationalistic mode of reflection. The focus of the discussion will be on the principle of autonomy. Recent doctoral research on a hospice organization (Karuna Hospice Service) will be used to contextualize the debate to end-of life ethical dilemmas. The conclusion will be reached that the discursive richness of this organization's notion of autonomy or choice, which incorporates a holistic respect for the individual and the active creation of alternatives, can provide important insights to our understanding of autonomy in bioethics. The concern is raised that if autonomy is reified as a principle outside of the context of discourse, it may only complement the hegemonic power of biomedicine.
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Citations of this work BETA
Autonomy and the Unintended Legal Consequences of Emerging Neurotherapies.Jennifer A. Chandler - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (2):249-263.
Patient-Centred Care: Qualitative Findings on Health Professionals' Understanding of Ethics in Acute Medicine. [REVIEW]Pam McGrath, David Henderson & Hamish Holewa - 2006 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 3 (3):149-160.
Selbstbestimmung bis zuletzt – Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Autonomieausübung im stationären Hospiz aus der Perspektive haupt- und ehrenamtlicher Mitarbeiter.Sabine Salloch & Christof Breitsameter - 2011 - Ethik in der Medizin 23 (3):217-230.
Cruel Choices: Autonomy and Critical Care Decision-Making.Christopher Meyers - 2004 - Bioethics 18 (2):104–119.
“Oh, That's a Really Hard Question”: Australian Findings on Ethical Reflection in an Accident and Emergency Ward. [REVIEW]Pam McGrath & David Henderson - 2008 - HEC Forum 20 (4):357-373.
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