Autonomy: An Ethical Dilemma In The Healthcare Setting

3045 Words13 Pages
Abstract Respecting patient autonomy is an ethical dilemma in the healthcare setting. People like to be involved in their receipt of care. They also have the right to their own bodies and what can and cannot be done to them. The ethical principle of respect for autonomy is associated with not only enabling patients to make their own decisions about health care interventions, but also to promote patients to be involved in decisions about their health care. Physicians are often tasked with giving the best quality of care while still respecting patient’s autonomy and practicing beneficence and non-maleficence. This can be a difficult task at times. Introduction The principle of autonomy can be traced back to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. It is the capacity to deliberate and to give oneself the moral law, rather than merely heeding the injunctions of others (Dryden). In Kantian ethics, all humans have worth so all humans should be treated with respect. As a principle of ethics, autonomy assumes a level of respect for all persons and their ability to make decisions and take actions that will affect their own health. Autonomy includes more than just decision making; it also includes the issues of autonomy as informed consent, confidentiality, truth telling, and fidelity (Carter, Cribb, Entwistle & McCaffery, 2010). While…show more content…
If a person is deemed competent, then their capacity for self-determination and self-governance should be respected whether negative or positive. It is their right to choose how to live. Positive and negative liberty is one of the main controversies that surround patient autonomy. Positive autonomy calls for “respectful treatment in disclosing information and fostering autonomous decision-making” (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001). Negative autonomy, however, is that patients’ autonomous decisions should not be controlled or manipulated by others, i.e. physicians and family members

More about Autonomy: An Ethical Dilemma In The Healthcare Setting

Open Document