Autonomy: A Moral Good, Not a Moral Obsession
Hastings Center Report. 1984 Oct; 14(5): 40-42.
While acknowledging the value of respect for autonomy as a means of establishing moral independence for the individual, Callahan sees a danger in making autonomy the moral goal of a society or of a system of medical care. He discusses its shortcomings as a form of subjectivism that may end up being used as a justification for selfishness. Accordingly, autonomy should be considered a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a moral life; what is needed as well is a broader ethic that incorporates obligations to others and builds bonds of community. (KIE abstract)