Autonomy Theory

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The theory of personal liberty is an ethical system proposed by Robert Nozick in 1974. The system is based upon the primact of single value rather than single principle which is liberty. Liberty is thought to be the first requirement of society. An institution or law that violates individual liberty has to be rejected even if it may result in greater happiness and increased benefit for others. Nozick agrees that society is an association of individuals, and that cooperation between these individuals is necessary for economic gains. The holding of each individuals in income, wealth, and the other bases of self-respect are derived form other people in exchange for goods or services or received as gifts. And existing pattern of holdings may have…show more content…
Exercising Autonomy: people have a right to control their lives and choose their own means of dying. The idea of autonomy, which literally means self-rule, is a foundational component of a free society. So long as my actions don’t harm others. A criticism of this argument is that, while autonomy is an important moral ideal, no one has full autonomy. Our actions are always restricted by competing interests of society. Suppose, for example, that our society lacks the ability to construct a safe active euthanasia policy that protects the interests of those who are most vulnerable to abuse. In such a case, society’s interests in protecting vulnerable people might outweigh the autonomy of those who desire active…show more content…
Showing Mercy: people in end-of-life situations are typically in great pain, and our obligation to be merciful and relieve suffering requires us to end their suffering through death if necessary. We routinely put animals out of their misery as an act of mercy and, in end-of-life situations, our obligation to relieve suffering demands that we do the same for humans. A criticism of this argument is that our obligation to relieve suffering is only one of many competing moral values that we have. For example, our moral tradition also acknowledges the virtue of fortitude, that is, the ability to endure difficult situations, the virtue to courageously face fear, and the obligation of self-preservation; these values may be contrary to active euthanasia. The obligation to relieve suffering should undoubtedly be shown towards dying patients, as is done in hospice programs, but showing mercy does not necessarily mean that we should actively put someone to
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