The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

892. Cass R. Sunstein, Autonomy by Default, 11/2016; published in American Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 16, No. 11 (2016).

Abstract: Taken as such, default rules do not intrude on autonomy, even if they influence people without persuading them. When default rules give people certain rights automatically (such as the right to vote), they promote autonomy for just that reason. And to the extent that default rules give people the freedom to focus on their most pressing concerns, they reduce “bandwidth taxes” and increase autonomy as well. When default rules compromise autonomy, it is not because they are default rules; it is because they invade, or take, certain rights or interests without people’s explicit consent.

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