Autonomy, Subject-Relativity, and Subjective and Objective Theories of Well-Being in Bioethics
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2003; 24(5): 363-379
Among the different approaches to questions of biomedical ethics, there is a view that stresses the importance of a patient's right to make her own decisions in evaluative questions concerning her own well-being. This approach, the autonomy-based approach to biomedical ethics, has usually led to the adoption of a subjective theory of well-being on the basis of its commitment to the value of autonomy and to the view that well-being is always relative to a subject. In this article, it is argued that these two commitments need not lead to subjectivism concerning the nature of well-being.
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