The value of autonomy in medical ethics

Med Health Care Philos. 2006;9(3):377-88. doi: 10.1007/s11019-006-9000-z. Epub 2006 Oct 11.


This articles assesses the arguments that bioethicists have presented for the view that patients' autonomy has value over and beyond its instrumental value in promoting the patients' wellbeing. It argues that this view should be rejected and concludes that patients' autonomy should be taken to have only instrumental value in medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making / ethics
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Patient Rights / ethics*
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Philosophy, Medical*