Human beings make decisions about all sorts of things, all of the time. We make decisions each day, differing on the scale of importance and what actually matters. We decide which clothes to put on each morning and what to have for breakfast, as well as deciding to go to war with other nations and to commit actions with very serious consequences. What makes these decisions autonomous, and further more what makes them worthy of protection?
What is autonomy?
An autonomous decision may be described as one that is made freely without undue influence, by a competent person in full knowledge and understanding of the relevant information necessary to make such a decision. According to Beauchamp and Childress ‘Personal autonomy …show more content…
Which decisions are worthy of our protection?
In the famous French ‘dwarf throwing’ case,3 dwarfs freely and autonomously consented to being employed in a club to be thrown around. It was a profession that they freely entered into, rationally and with the rights of a human to make such an autonomous decision about their own persons. However the French courts held that this profession was incompatible with their human dignity. The French court made a judgement, that the autonomous decision of dwarfs to be employed in this manner was not based on sound moral values. It held that it was based on no morals or dignity whatsoever. By doing so the court made a moral judgement of their own that the free will of certain peoples should be disregarded if it fails to meet and comply with the ‘morality’ it deems appropriate with the standard of society’s morality. In this case it was decided that an ‘immoral’ autonomous decision was not worthy of protection. I disagree entirely with the result of this case, and those similar to it. If a person