Autonomy and clinical practice. 1: Identifying areas of concern.

J. McParland, P. A. Scott, M. Arndt, T. Dassen, M. Gasull, C. Lemonidou, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, H. Leino-Kilpi

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This article, the first of three parts, presents an analysis of the use of the concept of autonomy in the nursing and healthcare ethics literature in the UK. It commences by considering some definitions of autonomy as they appear in the literature. Some of the confusions with the use of autonomy in the nursing literature are also identified and discussed, e.g. the frequent lack of clarity regarding how closely the concept is tied to notions of freedom. In addition, it also examines the lack of any indications in the nursing literature and that when one is considering the notion of autonomy it is also useful to consider the idea of constraining factors. In the nursing literature, discussions of autonomy largely appear to centre around the power imbalance between nurses and doctors. Issues of patient autonomy thus appear to be often of only secondary concern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalBritish journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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