Autonomy: a moral good, not a moral obsession

Hastings Cent Rep. 1984 Oct;14(5):40-2.


KIE: While acknowledging the value of respect for autonomy as a means of establishing moral independence for the individual, Callahan sees a danger in making autonomy the moral goal of a society or of a system of medical care. He discusses its shortcomings as a form of subjectivism that may end up being used as a justification for selfishness. Accordingly, autonomy should be considered a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a moral life; what is needed as well is a broader ethic that incorporates obligations to others and builds bonds of community.

MeSH terms

  • Bioethical Issues*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Moral Obligations
  • Morals*
  • Paternalism
  • Patient Advocacy*
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Social Justice
  • Social Values
  • United States