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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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Preface to a Theory of Consent Transactions: Beyond Valid Consent

Preface to a Theory of Consent Transactions: Beyond Valid Consent

(p.79) 4 Preface to a Theory of Consent Transactions: Beyond Valid Consent
The Ethics of Consent

Franklin G. Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Alan Wertheimer

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the fundamental question in many contexts is not whether a person gives valid consent, but whether the consent transaction is morally transformative—and that the answers to those questions are not always identical. The chapter begins by examining the logic of consent transactions, and describes some of the ways in which consent can be morally transformative. It examines the values that underlie consent transactions, and argues that consent transactions serve to protect and promote the consenter's wellbeing (or interests) as well as autonomy. It also argues that consent transactions serve both to protect the consenter's negative autonomy or control over herself and, quite crucially, to serve her positive autonomy by facilitating mutually beneficial and altruistic interactions with others. The chapter considers the “ontology” of consent and the criteria of moral transformation (CMT). It is argued that the fair transaction model (FT) of consent transactions provides a better account of moral transformation. Two applications of FT are presented.

Keywords:   consent transactions, moral theory, moral transformation

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