The Different Faces of Autonomy

Patient Autonomy in Ethical Theory and Hospital Practice

  • Maartje Schermer

Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 13)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Maartje Schermer
    Pages 45-62
  3. Maartje Schermer
    Pages 73-93
  4. Maartje Schermer
    Pages 95-114
  5. Maartje Schermer
    Pages 115-136
  6. Maartje Schermer
    Pages 137-155
  7. Maartje Schermer
    Pages 179-196
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 197-211

About this book


Patient autonomy is a much discussed and debated subject in medical ethics, as well as in healthcare practice, medical law, and healthcare policy. This book provides a detailed and nuanced analysis of both the concept of autonomy and the principle of respect for autonomy, in an accessible style. The unique feature of this book is that it combines empirical research into hospital practice with thorough philosophical analyses. As such, it is an example of a new movement in applied ethics, that of 'empirical ethics'.

The key themes are informed consent and medical decision making, personal well-being, competence, paternalism and decision making for incompetent patients. Much attention is also devoted to autonomy in non-decision making situations - patient control over small everyday aspects of care, authenticity and existential aspects of illness, autonomy and the 'ethics of care', and the relationship between autonomy and trust in the physician-patient relationship.

This book will be of interest to those working or studying in the field of medical ethics and applied ethics but also to healthcare professionals and health policy makers.


Ethical Perspective Ethics Medical Ethics applied ethics authenticity autonomy ethical theory health respect for autonomy

Authors and affiliations

  • Maartje Schermer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Amsterdam and Center for Ethics and Health of the NetherlandsZoetermeer/The HagueThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2002
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-6161-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-9972-6
  • Series Print ISSN 1387-6678
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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