The principle of patient autonomy dominates the contemporary debate over medical ethics. In this examination of the doctor-patient relationship, physician and philosopher Alfred Tauber argues that the idea of patient autonomy - which was inspired by other rights-based movements of the 1960s - was an extrapolation from political and social philosophy that fails to ground medicine's moral philosophy. He proposes instead a reconfiguration of personal autonomy and a renewed commitment to an ethics of care. In this formulation, physician beneficence and responsibility become powerful means for supporting the autonomy and dignity of patients. Beneficence, Tauber argues, should not be confused with the medical paternalism that fueled the patient rights movement. Rather, beneficence and responsibility are moral principles that not only are compatible with patient autonomy but also strengthen it. Coordinating the rights of patients with the responsibilities of their caregivers will result in a more humane and robust medicine.