Therapy and the Problem of Autonomous Consent
Jeffrie G. Murphy
Arizona State University College of Law
International Journal of Law & Psychiatry, Vol. 2, pp. 415-430, 1979
A basic demand of justice is that we respect the rights and special status of autonomous persons. This means that we must not use such persons against their wills for the benefit of others. This article addresses this interrelationship between autonomy and justice, specifically in the sphere of inmates in so-called total institutions. It concludes that these inmates are not necessarily incapable of giving valid consent, even to very controversial therapies. It reaches this conclusion through an analysis of the concepts of informed consent, voluntary consent, and competent consent. These concepts are morally loaded, and we cannot think about them in purely psychological terms but must think of them in moral terms as well.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Psychosurgery, Autonomy, Criminal Justice
Date posted: September 10, 2009
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