Relational autonomy as an essential component of patient-centered care

International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 4 (2):79-101 (2011)
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Despite enthusiasm for patient-centered care, the practice of patient-centered care is proving challenging. Further, it is curious that the literature about this subject does not explicitly address patient autonomy, since patients guide care in patient-centered care, and respect for patient autonomy is a prominent health-care value. We argue that by explicitly adopting a relational conception of autonomy as an essential component, patient-centered care becomes more coherent, is strengthened, and could help practitioners to make better use of a principle of respect for autonomy. Hence, its use appears promising to narrow the theory–practice gap.



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