Autonomy as a universal expectation: a review and a research proposal.

Catedra de Bioetica, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad nacional del Comahue, Catamarca 140, (8324) Cipolletti, Rio Negro, Argentina.
Eubios journal of Asian and international bioethics: EJAIB 04/2003; 13(2):53-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the World Health Report 2000 WHO introduces ethical issues in the elevation of health systems responsiveness performance. Although we consider this a positive step, the parameters considered in the Report are in some cases unsustained by extensive research. This is the case of autonomy, which is postulated as a "universal expectation". As we think that this is culture-linked issue we argue that such kind of universal categorizations lacks substantive empirical evidence. We undertook a short review of a small intentional sample of international literature, in order to demonstrate that regardless of the philosophical status of autonomy as a principle or category there is not background enough to postulate it as a universal expectation. We propose international collaborative research to define the issue, using qualitative research methodology.