Autonomy Vs Paternalism Essay Research Paper Focus

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Autonomy Vs. Paternalism Essay, Research Paper Focus: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages on autonomy and paternalism. Decision-making would be so much easier if we all maintained our autonomy in making the decision, however, because our decisions do not always abide by autonomistic values paternalistic intervention must occur. The purpose of autonomy is to allow us to choose to do things that affect only ourselves and does not negatively affect those around us. Unfortunately, many choices do, whether we know it or not, involve those in our environment. Paternalism is in place to protect the rights that are in our best interest and that will benefit us in the long run. Paternalistic intervention occurs when decisions are no longer in our best interests. If the decision

is like to be regretted and irreversible in the future, paternalism is again justified. Autonomy is a fleeting concept, for as soon as someone chooses to do something that will later cause an addiction, his or her autonomy is lost. They no longer have the decision to do or not to do the action; it becomes a need. Autonomy does have its advantages and disadvantages. One perk to autonomy is that it allows us to make decisions that we feel are in our best interests, as long as they either, do not affect those around us or are beneficial for them as well. As long as choices made based on autonomy are a result of the person acting on relevant, settled, preferred, and their own preferences; paternalistic intervention is not justified. However, autonomy is one of the easily lost

characteristics. As I mentioned above, once an addictive substance has entered your life due to an autonomistic decision, your autonomy is lost. The addiction takes over and you can neither choose to have this addictive substance, nor choose not to have it. It controls your life and compels you to keep using it, therefore your decision is no longer your own. An example of this is any type of drug. Cigarette smoking is an excellent example. Most people who smoke look at it as a choice they made that only affects their lungs, but smoking doesn?t just affect the smoker?s body. Secondhand smoke kills more nonsmokers than firsthand smoke kills smokers. The choice to smoke becomes an addictive habit, which kills your autonomy. You do not have the choice to stop anymore. Paternalism is

in place to look out for and enforce what is in our best interest, whether they are choices we would or would not make. If decisions we make now are likely to be regretted in the future and are more likely to be irreversible, paternalistic intervention is there to step in and aid the decision. For example, someone chooses to drop out of school at a young age. That person will eventually regret this decision because they will find it hard to get a job with limited education, and also find it virtually impossible to put themselves back through school with limited funds to do so. This situation is a justified situation for paternalism to step in. Paternalism is mainly used in large decisions in people?s lives, decisions that involve high stakes. The advantages of having paternalism

in place is that in the long run, with paternalistic intervention, our decisions will be better made. Paternalism is used by officials when make public policy. They look at your surface preferences and judge them on a standard of deeper preferences when configuring limitations and freedoms. There are, however, four types of preferences that prevent paternalistic intervention. They are relevant, settled, preferred, and your own preferences. As long as officials are convinced you are acting on one or all of those preferences, they have no right to step in. The disadvantages to paternalism is that most feel that they should be able to make their own decisions without having any interference. Paternalism is looked down upon when someone feels that their best interest was in the