Patient Autonomy And The Right Of Choice And Independence Essay

1828 Words Apr 10th, 2016 8 Pages
To many people, the word “autonomy” simply means the fundamental freedom of choice and independence. Many of us will not go beyond those words and understand how it can be applied in a medical setting. Patient autonomy is the right of a patient to make decisions about their individual medical care without the influence of their healthcare provider. This concept is put in place because it gives an individual the freedom to choose their course of treatment, whether the healthcare professional’s own values conflict with it or not. Without autonomy, patients would be forced to go through procedures, surgeries, and other treatment protocols that do not fit their lifestyle, belief system, or personal situation at that very moment. It is inherent in most adult human beings to want the right to make our own decisions regardless of whether anyone else likes it or not. The majority of people also want to lead a good and healthy life, so they make the necessary decisions to prolong and improve their life. At the same time, many do not always see the long term effects their decisions can have. Now, this is where health care professionals can come into play. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can help lead someone in the right direction. It is of great importance that patients always be presented with “options and [be] allowed to make voluntary choices about potentially life-changing health care” (Entwistle, Carter, Cribb, and McCaffery). Ultimately, however,…

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