The Principle of Autonomy


ThePrinciple of Autonomy

ThePrinciple of Autonomy

Theprincipal of autonomy is the quality of self-governance or the rightto make informed, rational decisions without being forced. Despitethe fact that people have a right to decide about the direction oftheir lives, they should do so without harming themselves or anyonearound them (Stuart, Dave, &amp Sheila, 2013). However, there aregroups of people that can make irrational and uninformed decisionsdue to their conditions such as those who are psychotic, mentally illor those suffering from brain damage. Such persons can easily makeharmful decisions or can be manipulated to by others. Thus, evenwithout them wanting, they should be constrained.

Stuartet al. (2013) demonstrate that in the case of PAS (Physician AssistedSuicides), patients suffering from chronic illnesses may have adesire to end their lives due to the endless pain. Needless to say,patients have a right to determine how to handle their conditions,but a physician should be given a chance to exercise their expertiseand knowledge of appropriate treatment. This is ethical in medicalCaregiving. It is clear that this may have gone against a patient`sdesire, but it would prevent them from taking their lives when theyhave dependents and loved ones.

Thewelfare of the society can be disrupted if one decides to actaccording to their desires. For instance, people refusing to put onseat belts, safety helmets or refusing to donate blood or organsaffects the wider society in a way that they can be involved inaccidents and lose their lives. Consequently, the society as a wholegets affected by autonomy. Therefore, freedom of making decisionshould be checked by the duty of care and willingness to do no harmto others in the process of practicing the principle of autonomy.


Stuart,J.M., Dave H. &amp Sheila, A.M. (2013). Criticalinterventions in the ethics of health care: challenging the principleof autonomy in bioethics.Farnham, UK Ashgate Publishing.