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Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics (Gifford Lectures) Hardcover – May 20, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0521815406 ISBN-10: 0521815401

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Editorial Reviews


"This book provides an excellent analysis of misguided understandings of autonomy and trust. Recommended. All levels." Choice

Book Description

In this important book, Onora O'Neill suggests that the conceptions of individual autonomy so widely relied on in bioethics are philosophically and ethically inadequate, and that they undermine rather than support relations of trust. Her arguments are illustrated with issues raised by practices such as the use of genetic information by the police, research using human tissues, uses of new reproductive technologies, and media practices for reporting on medicine, science and technology. Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics will appeal to a wide range of readers in ethics, bioethics and related disciplines.
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Product Details

  • Series: Gifford Lectures (Book 2001)
  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (May 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521815401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521815406
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,132,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
A very good piece of criticism of some modern trends in bioethics from a distinguished moral philosopher. O'Neill highlights the inadequacies of the emphasis on individual autonomy that characterizes much writing on bioethics, particularly biomedical ethics. O'Neill points out multiple shortcomings of this approach, pointing multiple ways in which individual autonomy fails to provide a solid foundation for many aspects of bioethics. O'Neill argues as well that the emphasis on individual autonomy has contributed in subtle but important ways to erosion of trust in institutions.
O'Neill argues for what she terms 'principled autonomy,' a Kantian argument that stresses duties along with rights. This is a fairly demanding position, as O'Neill intends, requiring a real commitment to performance, both at the institutional and individual levels, of crucial ethical duties. In this context, O'Neill discusses the variety of ways in which trust has been eroded and how some efforts to improve trustworthiness, such as increased auditing, professional oversight, and efforts at openness, may have inadvertantly had opposite effects. She then reaches to standards stemming from her concepts of principled autonomy to suggest alternatives, including a reasonable proposal to improve media treatment of biotechnology issues.
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By Madhusree Singh on November 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great read...still digesting it. Not as dense as I would have expected.
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