As a patient, I would like total control in the decision making of my health care. This is because I have a legal right to do so. Secondly, I will choose options that serve my social, psychological, spiritual and financial interest, among other reasons.
If I were ailing from life threatening disease, I would want total autonomy in my healthcare, because I want to make choices regarding end of my life. Example I may not want to be on life supporting machine on doctor’s recommendation, while causing financial constrains to my family, yet a will die anyway. Secondly the options that the doctor might recommend my not be contrary to my religious or psychological believes. On an assumption that I have a complicated pregnancy and my life and the babies are at risk .the doctor definitely will chose the baby to die. Contrary my spirituality may be against the practice. This thoughts makes me want to chose my destiny as well as what happens to my body.
How medical autonomy evolved
Until the early century physicians were entirely responsible for patient’s decision making. In the 1914 however the case of Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital played a major role into the patient-physician relationship evolution. The plaintiff claimed that each sane individual has a right to make decisions concerning her/his health (Halevy Amir, 2009). He required surgeons operating a patient without their consent, prosecuted for assault and held liable for damages, hence “simple consent” theory. Patients at this era had rights to decision making but with no legal backing. In 1957, the case between Salgo v. Leland Stanford Jr. University Board of Trustees further strengthened patient-based decision making. The plaintiff claimed that
Practitioners should furnish patients with adequate information in order for them to make decisions. Hence the establishment of informed consent theory (Halevy Amir,2009). In 1972 case of Canterbury v. Spence, The court ruled that the entire decision making should be rested on the “reasonable person” but with the physician’s advice. Ever since, the patient- physician relationship has been rather collaborative unlike initially when it was physician based autonomy only.
Importance of patient physician relationship
The patient has a right to make decisions that are inline with his personal interest and believes. The patient can choose a treatment that is budget friendly. The doctors as well as patient interest are aIDressed collectively. The physician is protected by the patient’s informed patient’s consent incase a medical procedure does not succeed. The patient has better information and advice to make right decisions. Medical intervention can be employed when a patient are not able to make sound decisions.
Halevy Amir (2009). Medical Futility, Patient Autonomy, and Professional
Integrity: Finding the Appropriate Balance. Retrieved on 10th of October 2011, from http://law.case.edu/StudentLife/organizations/healthmatrix/files/Halevy%20Final%20Article%20Version%201.pdf
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