Patient Autonomy Since the National Research Act

8 Nov 2017
3:30 am - 5:00 am

UCSF Laurel Heights Campus, Room 474

Event Type
Non-CSTMS Event

Catherina Gere, PhD
Associate Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, UC San Diego

This talk will examine the multiple transformations of the concept of patient autonomy after the mandating of informed consent in 1974. From the publication of the so-called Bible of Bioethics, through the AIDS epidemic, to the end of the Cold War and the rise of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising, the informed patient of 1974 turned into the empowered consumer of the mid-1990s. During the same period, the discipline of psychology underwent a matching makeover, courtesy of the new field of behavioral economics, with health, addiction, and personal responsibility acting as central reference points for a new neoliberal model of personhood that overlapped with the transformed conception of autonomy in medicine. By means of historical inquiry, the presentation will attempt to reconstruct the moral psychology implicit in contemporary medical ethics and etiquette.