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Do mentally ill patients have autonomy?

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Paul B.
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documents in English
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term papers
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7 pages
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  1. Introduction
  2. Autonomy
  3. Autonomy and capacity and consent
  4. Autonomy and compliance and coercion
  5. Autonomy and paternalism
  6. Autonomy and Ethical and moral theories
  7. Conclusion
  8. Reflection
  9. References

The aim of this assignment is to consider whether mental health patients have autonomy or do staff and the healthcare environment merely allow them a measurable quantity of autonomy based on legal, ethical and moral restrictions, if this is the case, is this autonomy at all? Placement experiences will be given in relation to patient autonomy and related ethical, legal and professional issues will be supported and/ or contrasted by relevant literature. Patient autonomy and capacity, consent, compliance, coercion and paternalism with are considered. In an attempt to show a deeper understanding and ability to apply theory to practice, the moral theories of liberal individualism, utilitarianism, Kantianism and communitarianism will be discussed in relation to patient autonomy. Attitudes, values, assumptions related to patient autonomy, implications for practice and care provision will also be reviewed.

[...] This principle can also apply to mental health patients' in a healthcare setting where it can be asked to what degree, if any, does the patient have autonomy or do staff and the healthcare environment merely allow them a measurable quantity of autonomy based on legal, ethical and moral restrictions, if this is the case, is this autonomy at all? Paley (1996) argues that the concept of autonomy is vague and needs clarity, as it is open to interpretation and ambiguity. [...]


[...] The NHS is utilitarian as it provides care for all patients at their time of need, not reserving care only for those who can pay for it (Tschudin 1994). It is also paternalistic, valuing patients mental health well being over their right to be autonomous. However, it believes that for patients' to have autonomy this is a common good as it benefits the maximum amount of people. The consequences of not respecting autonomy could result in moral chaos and unprofessional practice. [...]


[...] The overall word limit has proved restrictive and too small to do this subject justice. A larger word limit would have enabled me to give more depth to the issues I've discussed, plus looked at other aspects of patient autonomy such as advance directives. Using webct has enabled me to develop my research skills utilizing the Internet to source credible information. References Adshead G (1998) Ethical And Conceptual issues In Consent To Psychiatric Treatment And The Assessment Of Competence, Current Opinion In Psychiatry 555-558 Aveyard J (2000) Is There A Concept Of Autonomy That Can Usefully Inform Nursing Practice? [...]

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