The Principle Of Autonomy In Health Care

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The principle of autonomy is based on the Principle of Respect for Persons, which holds that individual persons have right to make their own choices and develop their own life plan. In a health care setting, the principle of autonomy translates into the principle of informed consent. 
You shall not treat a patient without the informed consent of the patient or his or her lawful surrogate, except in narrowly defined exceptions (3). In order to affirm autonomy, every effort must be made to discuss treatment preferences with patients and to document them in the patients’ charts. Informed consent is one of the most key components to autonomy of a patient and is a multifaceted concept that requires not only the patient to be assessed as being…show more content…
The other side of this argument looks at Paternalism which is acting without consent or overriding a person’s wishes, wants, or actions, in order to benefit the patient or prevent harm to him or her(7). This however doesn't look at the whole picture, there are obviously certain caveats. Where in some instances a physician is forced to exhibit a certain degree of paternalism with that in mind we can look at paternalism from two standpoints; The first being strong paternalism in which there is the overriding of a competent patent’s explicit wishes (8). There is the false presumption that the caring physician has independent knowledge of what is best for the patient whom should comply with the suggestions of the prescribing physician. The other being weak paternalism in which the physician will take steps for the benefit of an incompetent patient. This is justified in some cases in order to restore that person’s competence, or in order to protect a confused patient from harm(8). The latter view expressed brings to view a larger question of a physician performing actions he feels are in the best interest of a patient and takes the initiative to treat without consent and which brings up the point of beneficence vs…show more content…
It is suggestive of unselfishness, altruism, humanity, and promoting the good of others(9).The principle of beneficence is often simply stated as an obligation to act in ways that promote good. This can be expanded to include both the prevention and removal of harm as well as doing good. That is to say, we should act in ways that prevent harm, remove harm, and promote good. Beneficence is not simply the opposite of non-maleficence. Some would argue that while people always have a duty to do no harm, we don’t always have a duty to help. However, in health care, there is an implied duty to help by virtue of the physicians relationship with the patient. This duty is both legally and morally based in that it is reasonable for patients to expect a professional caregiver to act in ways that will promote their health and well-being. On the other hand, there is generally a recognised limit to the level of service and sacrifice owed to a patient by any particular health care professional(10). As with harm, the definition of good is difficult. The sheer number of ways one might promote the welfare of another defies a complete description. If we look at welfare in the health care context, it is generally seen in terms of health and physical well-being. The following secondary principles fall under beneficence; prevent the infliction of needless pain, prevent killing others and preventing incapacitating

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