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Importance Of Patient Autonomy In Decision Making

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Is Patient Autonomy the Central Value in Making Medical Decisions? The introduction of patient autonomy was a progressive and beneficial improvement to the operation of the health care field. The concept of patient autonomy was designed to protect patients from making decisions that would harm them. This concept ensures that patients are not forced by medical professionals to make life altering decisions. This clause also protects healthcare professionals from mal practice if their recommended health care plan does not go as planned. Patient autonomy should be considered as the central value in medical decision making as it introduces and enforces the concepts pf competency, shared decision making, and patient compliancy with healthy lifestyle recommendations. While discussing patient autonomy in making decisions, it is important to discuss the concept of competency. While competency is typically associated with the patients, it also refers to the physicians. Competency establishes that the patient and healthcare provider are making rational decisions when accepting and creating healthcare plans. Many different factors establish whether or not a patient is competent enough to make possible life altering decisions. For instance, children, mentally ill patients, and comatose patients are not competent to make medical decisions. This is because these patients are more likely to make rash decisions, are unable to process fatal diagnoses, or are simply unable to speak. While
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