The Principles Of Health Care Ethics

2039 Words9 Pages
Question 1: To What extent is respect for autonomy present in clinical situations? Respect for Autonomy is one of the four principles of Health care ethics . It means that a competent patient has the ability of self-determination devoid of external influence. Traditionally it has always been held the medical professional is the foremost authority in determining the best course of treatment, irrespective of a patient’s wishes. This has evolved over the years and now respecting a patient’s decision is paramount. The importance of respecting a person’s right to autonomy has been highlighted by the Judiciary numerous times, notably by in Airedale NHS Trust v Bland where a patient’s view should be respected even if not in their best interests. The right of a competent adult to refuse medical treatment irrespective of the underlying rationale was established in English Law by Lord Donaldson of Lymington M.R. in Re: T (Adult Refusal of Treatment) . This was further compounded by Re: C (Adult Refusal of Treatment), where Thorpe J stated that though one’s general capacity may be impaired, provided that they are able to comprehend the information given about a specific treatment, balance the risks and benefits and arrive at decision, then they are competent. Though mooted as a possible exception to the right to refuse treatment, being pregnant does not diminish patient’s right to autonomy. Despite the decision made in Re: S (Adult Refusal of Treatment) , both in Re: MB (Medical
Open Document