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McConnell presents the unusual and distinctive argument that inalienable rights differ from other types of rights in that, rather than restraining the behaviour of others, inalienable rights seem to put limits on the possessors themselves, because even the possessor's consent does not justify others in encroaching on them.
He offers a full account of what it means for a right to be inalienable, distinguishing them from other kinds of rights in the contexts of moral and political issues in medicine and law: for example, the right to life, the right of conscience, and, in particular, the right of informed consent. McConnell's book is intended as a distinctive conception and persuasive defence of inalienable rights, which ties into current discussions of informed consent. It should be of interest to applied ethicists and philosophers of law among others.