“What Does Respect For the Patient’s Autonomy Require?” – 12/6/13 – Kajol Shrestha

“What Does Respect For the Patient’s Autonomy Require?”                                                   12/01/13

With respect to the procedures that they currently use to approach patients, are physicians and other healthcare providers adequately protecting a patient’s autonomy? A patient’s autonomy, which is largely governed by their rationality, depends on three things: the information the patient is given, how that information is framed and the patient’s takeaway beliefs and perceptions. Healthcare providers should thoroughly go over a patient’s situation with them and the different kinds of treatment that is available to them. If patients believe in something irrational, the healthcare provider team should employ convincing arguments and evidence to persuade them otherwise. Additionally, the way the patient’s situation is explained to them should also have quality standards. There are many ways to frame that information, and healthcare providers have a responsibility to fairly disclose and frame the information for the best interests of the patient.  Does the healthcare system adequately protect the patient’s autonomy? Are there other factors that limit the system? This article writes a cautionary note saying both Yes and No.

Full Text: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8519.2012.01973.x/full

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