Privacy, autonomy, and public policy: French and North American perspectives

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (6):503-516 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article raises the question of whether in both the United States and in France, an individual’s autonomy and private decision-making right in matters of health care and access to reproductive technologies can be conciliated with the general interest, and more specifically, the role of the State. Can a full-fledged right to privacy, the ability to exercise one’s autonomy, exist alongside the general interest, and depend neither on financial resources like in the United States nor on centralised government decisions or the medical hierarchy like in France? The contrast between these two modern democracies justify the importance of comparing them. I will demonstrate that overlaps do exist: the free exercise of religion and opinion, freedom of expression, the inherent value of each individual. What differs, however, are the institutions and how they provide, protect, promote, or frame access to and expressions of these democratic principles. The impact of the global economy, the exposure of people around the world to each other via the internet, and the mirror effects of social media, blogs, and other such forums, have created new perspectives that countries project onto one another. For example, does France now seem to tout ‘autonomy’ as a new and important value because it appears to be an ‘American success story’? Does the United States now seem to value human rights and a social-democratic approach because of the ‘French model’? There seems to be some truth behind these assertions, but as this article will demonstrate, the portrayals of what the ‘right to privacy’ is in the United States and what ‘socialised medicine’ is in France are not necessarily fully accurate.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,697

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The 'obligation' to screen and its effect on autonomy.Yvonne Lau & Chrystal Jaye - 2009 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (4):495-505.
Privacy and social interaction.Beate Roessler & Dorota Mokrosinska - 2013 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (8):771-791.
France and the United States: Two Styles of Dealing With Adversity.Alain Ehrenberg - 2014 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 21 (4):363-366.
Democracy and genetic privacy: The value of bodily integrity. [REVIEW]Ludvig Beckman - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8 (1):97-103.
An Intrusion Theory of Privacy.George E. Panichas - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (2):145-161.
Opinion Paper: Pluralism about the Value of Privacy.William Bülow - 2011 - International Review of Information Ethics 16:85-88.
Does privacy undermine community.Mark Tunick - 2001 - Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (4):517-534.
Biobank research and the right to privacy.Lars Øystein Ursin - 2008 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (4):267-285.


Added to PP

16 (#675,885)

6 months
1 (#481,005)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

Add more references