chapter  21
14 Pages

Autonomy

WithCATRIONA MACKENZIE

In bioethics, the principle of respect for autonomy is widely understood as the principle that health care professionals have an obligation to respect patients’ autonomous choices and decisions about their own health care. Respect for autonomy is a core principle of bioethics, underpinning requirements of informed consent to medical treatment and participation in medical research. It is also of central concern in a number of other areas in bioethics, such as in debates about reproductive choice and end of life decisionmaking.