Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Autonomy and Informed Consent

  • Colin J. H. ThomsonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_43-1



Autonomy takes its primary meaning from governmental theory where it refers to the status of a state or nation as being self-governing and free from control or interference from another power. When applied to individuals, the term carries the same meaning: a self-governing person – a personal rule of the self that is free from controlling interferences by others and personal limitations that prevent realization of an individual’s self-chosen plan. In this way, autonomy of individuals is regarded as analogous to the manner in which independent governments determine, implement, and manage policies and responsibilities (Beauchamp and Childress 2012).

Consent means the grant, by a person, of permission for something to take place (e.g., to receive medical treatment) or the agreement to do something (such as entering into a contract). The expression includes both the substance – the specification of...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and HealthUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mark Israel
    • 1
  1. 1.Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy ServicesPerthAustralia