jebchumba.docx - Running Head Patient Autonomy 1 Patient Autonomy Student Name Institutional Affiliation 1 Running Head Patient Autonomy 2 Abstract

jebchumba.docx - Running Head Patient Autonomy 1 Patient...

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Running Head: Patient Autonomy 1Patient AutonomyStudent NameInstitutional Affiliation1
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Running Head: Patient Autonomy 2AbstractInitially bio-ethics was driven by paternalistic medical interventions.Thecourse of treatment taken by clinicians did not take into account thepersonal preferences of a patient. But from the 20thcentury onwards, theconcept of personal autonomy has made bio-ethics patient driven. Today ,a clinician must first secure the informed consent of a patient prior toadministering a course of treatment. Yet this primacy of informed consentcreates situations when patient choices conflict with a clinician’s expertopinion on what is best for their patient. This essay shall be unpacking theconcept of Autonomy before proceeding to evaluate the decisionalaccount for the relationship clinicians have with their patients beingregulated by informed consent. All this is done to answer the question ofwhen the respect for a patient's autonomy limit a clinician to acting inaccordance with a patient’s authentic valuesIntroductionIn the arena of bio-ethics, the principle of beneficence demands thatmedical practitioners dealing with people seeking medical treatment administer therapies which are the most likely to cure their patients (Childress, 1990: pp.12-17). The principle of non-maleficence demands that any medical intervention to address illness should aim not to have a lot of side effects on a patient. For a long time, these two principles dictated what ethical care amounts to (Childress, 1990). But having bio-ethics primarily governed by these principles sets dangerously low standards on the treatment of patients (Childress, 1990). They are predicated on the belief that treating and caring for a patient is an activitythat can be executed without concern for what the patients wants or considers a good course of action. Recent human history reveals that leaving it up to medical professionals or the state the responsibility of determines what is best for a patient is dangerous (Manson & O’Neil, 2007: 18-19). As more 2
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Running Head: Patient Autonomy 3revelations of governments or doctors experimenting on humans came to light, bio-ethics moved away from this paternalistic model through integrating the concept of autonomy. This essay will first be unpacking thejustifications for patient autonomy then proceed to identifying situations when it is ethical for a health care giver’s expertise to override a patient’schoices regarding medical treatment. In doing so, the essay shall be seeking to identify when respect for a patient's autonomy limit a clinician to acting in accordance with a patient’s authentic values.The concept of autonomyImmanuel Kant (1724-1804) believed that the ‘original right’ which all human beings own out of the mere fact that they are alive is the right to autonomy (Rohlf, 2010). By ‘autonomy’ Kant explains meant the power to choose how you want to live your life. Kant argued that individuals
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  • Summer '14
  • Medical Ethics

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