Toward an Account of Relational Autonomy in Healthcare and Treatment Settings

Authors

  • Simone Lee Joannou University of the Witwatersrand

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.31406

Keywords:

autonomy, mental health, relational autonomy, feminist conceptions of autonomy, recovery, therapeutic ethics, feminism

Abstract

Currently held conceptions of autonomy that inform biomedicine are inadequate and oppressive. Liberal notions of individualism are anti-humanist and constitute pernicious socialization, which leads to internalized oppression and dehumanization, especially among already oppressed groups. Women in recovery from addiction and other mental illnesses are especially affected by anti-humanist conceptions of autonomy. I argue that these women need to receive treatment that supports autonomy through supplementing psychiatric and rehabilitative therapy with humanistic education and group therapy. Treatment must encourage the construction of healthy social interaction that augments a sense of supported autonomy.

Author Biography

Simone Lee Joannou, University of the Witwatersrand

Simone Lee Joannou is currently completing her MA in Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her work focuses on topics of autonomy, mental health, addiction-recovery, and feminism.

References

Charles, S. 2010. “How Should Feminist Autonomy Theorists Respond to the Problem of Internalized Oppression?” Social Theory and Practice 36(3): 409–438. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/soctheorpract201036322

Ells, C. 2001. “Lessons About Autonomy from the Experience of Disability.” Social Theory and Practice. Special Issue: Embodied Values: Philosophy and Disabilities 27(4): 599–615. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/soctheorpract200127431

McLeod, C. and Sherwin, S. 2000. “Relational Autonomy, Self-trust, and Health Care for Patients Who Are Oppressed.” Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency and the Social Self, edited by Catriona Mackenzie and Natalie Stoljar, 259–279. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Meyers, D.T. 1987. “Personal Autonomy and the Paradox of Feminine Socialization.” The Journal of Philosophy 84(11): 619–628. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/jphil198784117

Nedelsky, J. 1989. “Reconceiving Autonomy: Sources, Thoughts and Possibilities.” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 1(1): 7–36.

Published

2016-09-20

How to Cite

Joannou, S. (2016). Toward an Account of Relational Autonomy in Healthcare and Treatment Settings. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, 24(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.31406

Issue

Section

Articles