Patient Autonomy and Healthcare Beneficence

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Today patients have access to wider range of information than ever before and the concept of autonomy has much changed. The critical analysis of patient-doctor relations can be divided into three perspectives: traditional, philosophical and feministic. Rothman talks about autonomy as the part of other social movements.


Donchin criticized Engelhardt approach to autonomy and noted that the power and authority of physicians to act as gatekeepers selecting candidates for non-therapeutic elective procedures raised the different set of issues about limiting patient autonomy.
Tauber notes that patients lose their ability to make free choices because they are never fully informed. In his perception, by employing the term of adequate understanding, the patients themselves recognize the limits of their freedom and are more concerned with the process of healing and autonomy is rather the aspiration of the curing process. Verkerk and Keller analyzed patient autonomy in the context of care perspective or feministic approach. The patient care is focused on becoming more active and committed caregivers instead of adopting the non-interference attitude and respect of patient autonomy. The ideal of autonomy in terms of independence and self-sufficiency is criticized, while the idea of interdependence is emphasized. Dworkin, on the contrary, has covered the issue of autonomy from different perspectives starting with the Kantian concept of self-governance and ending with the feministic approach to autonomy.
Even though Dworkin does not use the word autonomy in his works, while discussing the idea of treating peop ...
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