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Mental disorder and the value(s) of ‘autonomy’ 

Mental disorder and the value(s) of ‘autonomy’
Chapter:
Mental disorder and the value(s) of ‘autonomy’
Author(s):

Jane Heal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199595426.003.0011
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date: 15 October 2019

‘Autonomy’ is a word which indicates an area where important things are felt to be at issue but where much is also complex and disputed. As to its broad shape the notion has both a descriptive and a normative face. It is taken that ‘autonomous’ specifies descriptively a way a person or decision may be and which (many) people and decisions actually are, at least to some extent. But use of the notion also brings with it (at least for many users) acknowledgement of a normative requirement to respect autonomy and an acknowledgement of the value of promoting more autonomy. There is, however, much debate as to how both the descriptive and the normative elements of the notion are to be articulated....

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