What is the tension between the principle of autonomy and the principle of the sanctity of life? Which principle takes precedence in the abortion debate?

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Name Tutor Course Date Principle of Autonomy versus the Sanctity of Life A real conflict exists between a patient’s wishes and a professional judgment, for instance, when a patient’s autonomy conflicts with the recommendation of the doctor. Two of the top issues where this conflict easily manifests are at the end of life decisions like euthanasia, and abortion. Stipulated in the principle of autonomy is the right of the patient to make their own choices regarding treatment options (MKhize 27). Tension starts to build up the moment the patient’s preferences are at loggerheads with professional judgment or some sacred belief in the sanctity of life. By way of illustration, if a patient can choose to continue taking alcohol, even after being advised that it may lead to severe interactions they are on. In this case, the autonomy of the patient takes precedence over the doctor’s professional advice. This autonomy is protected by the law, and it is therefore legally enforceable and the doctor’s sole duty is to make known to the patient some of the possible alternatives the patient can opt for and explaining the risks involved (MKhize 28). The sanctity of life debate on the other hand is not a legal one, but an issue of ethics. Proponents argue on the basis that the sacredness of life does not allow anyone to take it, even the owner of life (Bayertz 16). A quandary exists when the autonomy of the patients in incongruous with this sanctity, like in euthanasia. Though the law supports the principle of autonomy, some factions believe life should be allowed to run its course. Abortion presents a case where patient choices override the sanctity of life, since it

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