A Contextualized Approach to Patient Autonomy Within the Therapeutic Relationship

Journal of Medical Humanities 19 (4):299-311 (1998)
Abstract
Some authors have advanced a contractual model to protect patient autonomy within the therapeutic relationship. Such a conception of the physician–patient relationship is intended to serve both parties by respecting patients' choices and preserving physician integrity. I critique this contractual view and offer an alternative, feminist contextualized approach to autonomy within the therapeutic relationship. This approach places the physician-patient relationship within a larger social context, and indicates the many social inequalities that render insupportable the notion of physicians and patients as contracting equals
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