After Autonomy

34 Pages Posted: 24 May 2017

Date Written: 2006


Bioethics has a core agenda of some coherence. How, then, if we evaluate bioethics by assessing not the merits of the principle it professes but the success of the policies it promotes? What are the fruits of the program to equip patients to make the health-care decisions that affect them? It is through this question that I propose that we re-examine bioethics. The best way to refresh bioethics is not to grope for a new organizing principle, but rather to assess the content and consequences of bioethics' agenda. If that agenda is succeeding, bioethics need not be reconceived. If that agenda has largely failed, we will have added reason to reconceive bioethics, have evidence about the sources of bioethics' weaknesses, and have hints about directions for a new bioethics. If a new bioethics is necessary. And possible.

Keywords: Bioethics, Informed Consent, Living Wills, Consumer-Directed Health Care, Mandatory Disclosure

JEL Classification: K00, K32

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Carl E., After Autonomy (2006). Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Carl E. Schneider (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-647-4170 (Phone)

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