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The Ethics of ConsentTheory and Practice$
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Franklin Miller and Alan Wertheimer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335149

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335149.001.0001

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Autonomy and Consent

Autonomy and Consent

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 Autonomy and Consent
Source:
The Ethics of Consent
Author(s):

Tom L. Beauchamp (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335149.003.0003

This chapter considers the relationship between consent and autonomy, arguing that autonomous choice and voluntariness are central to the notion of consent. It starts by analyzing consent in terms of its normative features, basic elements, and senses. It then moves to the nature of consent as autonomous and discusses whether requirements to obtain informed consent are justified in terms of the principle of respect for autonomy. It then turns to theories of autonomy, starting with split-level theories. A different theory of autonomy is proposed, which features conditions of intentionality, understanding, and voluntariness. This theory is used to develop an account of degrees of autonomy. Finally, the chapter considers the problem of constraining situations, which present moral issues of undue influence and the exploitation of research subjects.

Keywords:   consent, autonomy, voluntariness, autonomous action

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