Journal of Value Inquiry 40 (4):451-459 (2006)

In contemporary medical ethics, it is widely accepted that concern for individual autonomy provides the ethical foundation for the doctrine of informed consent. It is taken that treating a competent patient is morally acceptable only if she has given her informed consent to being treated, because failing to secure the patient’s informed consent to her treatment would violate the patient’s autonomy. In a recent issue of this journal, James Stacey Taylor argues that this conventional view is mistaken. Taylor maintains that a patient lacking information relevant to her medical decisions can be fully autonomous with respect to such decisions, because a person suffers from a diminution in her autonomy with respect to her medical decisions only if she is deliberately kept ignorant or deceived by her healthcare provider. In Taylor’s view, the patient’s autonomy would thus not be compromised if her healthcare provider fails to secure her informed consent to her treatment as a result of negligently omitting to provide relevant information to her. However, since it is intuitively plausible that the healthcare provider is still morally culpable for her negligence, it should, Taylor writes, be taken that the ethical foundation of informed consent is concern for patient wellbeing. While there is reason to be sympathetic to the conclusion that informed consent should be taken to be based on the value of wellbeing, Taylor’s argument does not support that result.
Keywords informed consent  autonomy  wellbeing
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2007
DOI 10.1007/s10790-006-9005-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,229
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

Value of Choice.Tom Walker - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2020-106067.
Ethics Consultation and Autonomy.Jukka Varelius - 2008 - Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (1):65-76.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Autonomy and Informed Consent on the Navajo Reservation.James Stacey Taylor - 2004 - Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (4):506-516.
Informed Consent and Relational Conceptions of Autonomy.N. Stoljar - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):375-384.
Autonomy, Consent and the Law.Sheila McLean - 2010 - Routledge-Cavendish.
Informed Consent as Waiver: The Doctrine Rethought?Emma C. Bullock - 2010 - Ethical Perspectives 17 (4):529-555.
Informed Consent, Autonomy, and the Law.David B. Annis - 1984 - Philosophy Research Archives 10:249-259.
Collective Informed Consent and Decision Power.Jukka Varelius - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (1):39-50.


Added to PP index

Total views
65 ( #166,440 of 2,455,480 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,205 of 2,455,480 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes