Autonomy is known as our capacity for effectively pursuing one’s goals, free from external control or domination. In other words, ‘‘to live one’s life according to reasons and motives that are taken as one’s own and not the product of manipulative or distorting external forces’’ (Christman, 2015). Also, autonomy is described as the ability of an individual to feel, think and make decisions for himself. It is the way you act independently, according to your benefits.
An example that it can be highlight is clearly in the field of medicine and health care, where autonomy is an incredibly important and often contentious area for providers. In the first appointment with the doctor, one of the most important documents the person needs to sign is the called informed consent form. This form gives the authority to the doctor and his/her staff to obtain the medical information of this person, as well as to share it with other hospitals, among other centers. This means that as an autonomous adult, he/she understand the meaning of this document and that the decision is his/her to sign or not, everything is depending on his/her to make that decision.
Autonomy is valuable because respecting someone autonomy is a way to respect their dignity, and respect them as an equal. Respect, it is a basic value that confirms the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual. ‘‘Doing so enables people to pursue whatever other values they think are important as long as they respect each other’s entitlement to do the same’’ (Flanigan, 2017).
Another reason that autonomy is valuable, it is because autonomous people are likely to be happy since they are free to do what they want. As Paolo Verme says in his article ‘‘Happiness, Freedom and Control’’ back in 2009: ‘‘The variable freedom and control are by far the most significant predictor of life satisfaction’’ (Verme, 2009). Autonomy really matter, and it is no less true that it brings a powerful effect on happiness. But the truth is that each person is different, be it the way of acting and the way of thinking, and these differences matter a lot. The individuality and differences of each person is one of the reasons why it is difficult to interact with each other. That’s why, everybody needs something different from us in order to be happy, as long as they are to offer the best of what we need from them.
Clearly it is possible to identify that the ability to be autonomous is to know how to direct, make decisions, freely determine the next steps of life, and it is the condition for moral responsibility. We respect people who are exemplary, have ethical values too. These people are d those who deserve the respect of one, and in a way, you respect their autonomy.
If we focus in the dilemma existing over the years — many groups and organizations in American society are debating whether or not animal testing should be banned — this is the reason that people’s autonomy is either respected or being violated depending on the solution implemented.
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