Indexed on: 17 Dec '15Published on: 17 Dec '15Published in: The Journal of medicine and philosophy
This article seeks to explore and analyze the relationship between autonomy and trust, and to show how these findings could be relevant to medical ethics. First, I will argue that the way in which so-called "relational autonomy theories" tie the notions of autonomy and trust together is not entirely satisfying Then, I will introduce the so-called Encapsulated Interest Account as developed by Russell Hardin. This will bring out the importance of the reasons for trust. What good reasons do we have for trusting someone? I will criticize Hardin's business model as insufficiently robust, especially in the context of health care, and then turn to another source of trust, namely, love. It may seem that trust-through-love is much better suited for the vulnerability that is often involved in health care, but I will also show that it has its own deficiencies. Good health care should therefore pay attention to both models of trust, and I will offer some tentative remarks on how to do this.