The True Role of Autonomy in Medicine


University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics




Tag(s): Past

Respect for patient autonomy is not as simple as doing what patients say they want. As clinicians, we also have an obligation to use our skill for the benefit of patients, to not cause harm, & to care for all of our patients in ways that are consistent with the interests of everyone in the community. Balancing these moral commitments is an important part of ethical practice, and an important part of balancing these commitments is a practical understanding of what we mean by autonomy. This session reviews the origins, meaning, & limitations of the concept of autonomy, & provides practical guidance for how to resolve potential conflicts between patient autonomy & other moral commitments.

Objectives: By completion of this activity, learners will:
1. Be able to articulate a definition of patient autonomy
2. Understand boundaries of the duty to respect patient autonomy
3. Be able to identify & describe conflicts between respect for patient autonomy & other moral commitments, & when external review & support may be helpful.

This talk is part of our quarterly, professional development series: “Unpacking Bedside Bioethics”. This virtual series is delivered by core & affiliate faculty of the Center for Bioethics at the U of MN Twin Cities. Speakers introduce foundational bioethics concepts, identify ethical dilemmas in clinical cases, & demonstrate how to apply bioethical frameworks to resolve those dilemmas.

Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, social workers & other clinical support to attend. Health professions students are also encouraged to attend.

Upon request, Zoom attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance to apply for Continuing Education Units for their respective professions. We are not able to offer CEUs directly to attendees. Please note, you must attend a minimum of 75% of the talk to receive a certificate.

Each talk will be recorded & posted with our other event recordings. Certificates of Attendance will not be given for watching the recording – only for those attending the zoom session.

Event start time: 12:15 pm

Event end time: 01:15 pm

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