Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Free Will and Autonomous Medical DecisionMaking

Matthew A. Butkus
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.

The article is here.