Ethical Principle Of Autonomy In Health Care

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Autonomy is defined as the freedom to make choices about issues that affect one’s life, free from lies, restraint, or coercion (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2014, p 60). As this case study unravels itself it’s clear that autonomy is the ethical dilemma at hand. It is ethical wrong for health care providers not to obtain informed consent directly from the patient or in other words acting paternalistically, which in return violates the patients’ autonomy. If Linda were deemed incompetent, her autonomy rights would be removed, but since the patient decisional capacity is seen as intact all treatment should be consented to by her and her only, not the mother or any health care provider. Furthermore, not only has the conflict of these ethical principles …show more content…

The ethical principle beneficence is defined as to do good, or to act in a way that benefits the patient (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2014, p 69). Therefore, I believe that the Neurologist and the attending acted paternalistically way; acting in a fatherly manner, because Linda has lost her ability to swallow, which has caused her to lose a significate amount of weight causing her to look clinically malnourished. That’s why they felt the best thing for Linda was to insert a feeding tube, but by doing that unknowingly the Neurologist overstepped the patients’ autonomy, or in other words the patient did not consent to having the tube placed. However, the attending physician knew of the patients’ wishes because there was a conversation between the nursing staff, social worker, and himself where she bluntly stated she did not want a feeding tube, but still let the insertion of the feeding tube happen, which is a direct violation of the ethical principle autonomy and an act paternalism. According to UCSF School of medicine “Respect for autonomy is one of the fundamental guidelines of clinical ethics. Autonomy in medicine is not simply allowing patients to make their own decisions. Physicians have an obligation to create the conditions necessary for autonomous choice in others. For a physician, respect for autonomy includes respecting an individual’s right to …show more content…

According to ANA (American Nurses Association) Deontology is though of as “not looking primarily at consequences of actions, but instead examines a situation for the essential moral worth of the intention of act, or rightness or wrongness of the act.” (ANA). I believe based on this theory it would guide the staff to making the choice to discontinue the feeding tube per patients request to not have one in the first place. It is the right choice to make for this particular patient even though it doesn’t offer the most health beneficial outcome. ANA (American Nurses Association) uses an a-like deontology example “For example, we have begun not to use restraints on older people for their safety and to think of other measures. We do this because restraining someone against his or her will could not be considered a universal law.” (ANA). In relation, we now us informed consents to allow patients autonomy or the right to make their own decisions, instead of doing it for them because it’s their own will to decide what health care treatment they want and don’t want. In this case Linda didn’t consent to the feeding tube and the right thing to do would be to discontinue as patient

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