Somatic Oppression and Relational Autonomy: Revisiting Medical Aid in Dying through a Feminist Lens

U.B.C. Law Review, Vol. 53, Issue 2 (December 2020), pp. 241-298

58 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2021

See all articles by Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry

Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry

McGill University - Faculty of Law; McGill University - Institute for Health and Social Policy

Date Written: December 30, 2020

Abstract

Drawing upon disability studies and theories of relational autonomy, this essay illustrates how somatic oppression may affect one’s autonomy — conceptualized as a socially contextualized competency — in the context of Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD), in ways that are not captured by current safeguards focused on protecting free and informed consent. From a relational standpoint, securing free and informed consent fails to protect individual autonomy, and instead we need to examine how medical and social relationships, practices, and institutions can hinder or enable the development and practice of autonomy. I conclude that oppression poses a credible threat to the autonomy of MAiD patients and thus warrants further attention.

Keywords: Medical Aid in Dying; Physician-Assisted Suicide; Euthanasia; Carter; Relational Autonomy; Consent; Meyers; Somatic; Oppression; Ageism; Ableism; Emotions

Suggested Citation

Beaudry, Jonas-Sébastien, Somatic Oppression and Relational Autonomy: Revisiting Medical Aid in Dying through a Feminist Lens (December 30, 2020). U.B.C. Law Review, Vol. 53, Issue 2 (December 2020), pp. 241-298, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3813361

Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

McGill University - Institute for Health and Social Policy ( email )

Charles Meredith House
1130 Pine Avenue West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1A3
Canada

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