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  • 1. Ahlin, Jesper
    The impossibility of reliably determining the authenticity of desires: implications for informed consent2017In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is sometimes argued that autonomous decision-making requires that the decision-maker’s desires are authentic, i.e., “genuine,” “truly her own,” “not out of character,” or similar. In this article, it is argued that a method to reliably determine the authenticity (or inauthenticity) of a desire cannot be developed. A taxonomy of characteristics displayed by different theories of authenticity is introduced and applied to evaluate such theories categorically, in contrast to the prior approach of treating them individually. The conclusion is drawn that, in practice, the authenticity of desires cannot be reliably determined. It is suggested that authenticity should therefore not be employed in informed consent practices in healthcare.

  • 2.
    Ahlin Marceta, Jesper
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    A non-ideal authenticity-based conceptualization of personal autonomy2018In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Respect for autonomy is a central moral principle in bioethics. The concept of autonomy can be construed in various ways. Under the non-ideal conceptualization proposed by Beauchamp and Childress, everyday choices of generally competent persons are autonomous to the extent that they are intentional and are made with understanding and without controlling influences. It is sometimes suggested that authenticity is important to personal autonomy, so that inauthenticity prevents otherwise autonomous persons from making autonomous decisions. Building from Beauchamp and Childress’s theory, this article develops a non-ideal authenticity-based conceptualization of personal autonomy. Factors that indicate inauthentic decision-making are explicated, and the full concept is defended from three expected objections. The theory is then tested on a paradigm case which has concerned theorists and practitioners for some time, namely the possible inauthenticity of anorexia nervosa patients’ decision-making. It is concluded that the theory seems to be fruitful in analyses of the degree of autonomy of patients’ decision-making, and that it succeeds in providing reliable action-guidance in practical contexts.

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