This paper is part of a series of essays developed for the NCCHPP by researchers associated with the Centre de recherche en éthique de l’Université de Montréal (Université de Montréal Research Centre in Ethics) as part of a project to examine ethical issues related to healthy public policy.
Autonomy promotion has become a widely-practised activity in the field of public health, since studies have emerged showing the close relationship between individuals’ state of health and their ability to exercise control over their life and their living conditions. Many vigorous ethical debates have taken place and continue to take place surrounding this issue.
However, significant changes in the ethnocultural composition of the Canadian population have generated debates more specifically focused on the implications of these changes for autonomy promotion practices. The impetus for these particular debates is the idea that autonomy is a culturally determined product (historically, socially and politically speaking).
The present text, developed by Michel Désy, deals with specific ethical concerns related to the promotion of autonomy in a pluriethnic context.