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Patient autonomy and choice in healthcare: Self-testing devices as a case in point

Greaney, Anna-Marie, O'Mathúna, Dónal orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-5331-3340 and Scott, Anne orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-5790-8066 (2012) Patient autonomy and choice in healthcare: Self-testing devices as a case in point. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 15 (4). pp. 383-395. ISSN 1572-8633

This paper aims to critique the phenomenon of advanced patient autonomy and choice in healthcare within the specific context of self-testing devices. A growing number of self-testing medical devices are currently available for home use. The premise underpinning many of these devices is that they assist individuals to be more autonomous in the assessment and management of their health. Increased patient autonomy is assumed to be a good thing. We take issue with this assumption and argue that self-testing provides a specific example how increased patient autonomy and choice within healthcare might not best serve the patient population. We propose that current interpretations of autonomy in healthcare are based on negative accounts of liberty to the detriment of a more relational understanding. We also propose that Kantian philosophy is often applied to the healthcare arena in an inappropriate manner. We draw on the philosophical literature and examples from the self-testing process to support these claims. We conclude by offering an alternative account of autonomy based on the interrelated concepts of relationality, care and responsibility.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Patients Autonomy; Self-testing devices; Negative freedom; Positive freedom; Care; Relationality; Professional responsibility
Subjects:Medical Sciences > Medical ethics
Social Sciences > Medical laws and legislation
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Nursing and Human Sciences
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11019-011-9356-6
Copyright Information:© 2012 Springer (Kluwer)
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:19339
Deposited On:12 Sep 2013 09:02 by Fran Callaghan . Last Modified 14 Nov 2023 12:10

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