As I have stressed, respect for the individual, and particularly a belief in the vital importance of personal autonomy, are key values in the justification of liberal democracy. As a general rule people should be allowed to run their own lives, and make their own mistakes, provided that by so doing they do not interfere with others’ opportunities to do the same. We have just considered one exception to this principle — children. There is another notable exception — the mentally disordered.
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