<i>Autonomy and Control in Eating Disorders</i>

Simona Giordano

in Understanding Eating Disorders

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780199269747
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603129 | DOI:

Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics

 Autonomy and Control in Eating Disorders

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This chapter considers whether eating disordered behaviour is autonomous. This would have important ethical implications, as there is a prima facie ethical obligation to respect autonomous behaviour. It shows that eating disordered behaviour seems undermined by some defects in autonomy, such as defects in perception of hunger and satiety, defects in the ability to apply knowledge about food to self, false beliefs relating, for example, to food and its assimilation. These defects in autonomy seem to provide a prima facie justification for paternalism. However, this chapter shows that some elements specific to eating disorders weaken the strength of paternalism. Although there seem to be defects in autonomy, these do not provide clear justification for paternalism towards people with eating disordered.

Keywords: autonomy; self control; self-perception; eating disorders; beliefs; paternalism

Chapter.  10867 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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