n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Communal personhood and the principle of autonomy : the ethical challenges : main article

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Concepts of autonomy based in Western ethics may often compete with local ethical systems. <BR>A person is autonomous to the extent that she/he is free from debilitating cognitive and other considerations that could possibly interfere with the capacity for rational thought. <BR>Ethical decision-making is a matter of individual legislation. <BR>The principle of autonomy finds its most immediate application in the requirement of informed consent. <BR>Attempts to implement first-person informed consent have met with problems in societies with a dominantly communitarian conception of the self. <BR>The view of ethics emerging from the communal approach to the self is not individualistic: it is based on communal decision-making and consensus. <BR>Informed consent is a semiotic process by which various stakeholders negotiate the process and procedures that should be followed to obtain informed consent in a particular cultural community.

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