Butkus, Matthew A. 2015. “Free Will and Autonomous Medical Decision-Making.”
Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (1): 75–119.
Modern medical ethics makes a series of assumptions about how patients and their care providers make decisions about forgoing treatment. These assumptions are based on a model of thought and cognition that does not reflect actual cognition—it has substituted an ideal moral agent for a practical one. Instead of a purely rational moral agent, current psychology and neuroscience have shown that decision-making reflects a number of different factors that must be considered when conceptualizing autonomy. Multiple classical and contemporary discussions of autonomy and decision-making are considered and synthesized into a model of cognitive autonomy. Four categories of autonomy criteria are proposed to reflect current research in cognitive psychology and common clinical issues.
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