Autonomy And Nonmaleficence In Biomedical Ethics

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Autonomy and Nonmaleficence are both important ethical concepts in healthcare. In this paper, I will discuss how Beachamp and Childress, authors of Biomedical Ethics, define these concepts. I will also discuss some possible controversies that can arise according to their definition, as well as state which concept I feel is most important in healthcare. Next, I will cover one aspect of the concept that I think should be changed and one that I think should stay the same. Finally, I will state to what degree that I am satisfied with the authors’ definition of the concept that I have deemed to be of higher importance in the healthcare setting. Beauchamp and Childress define autonomy as, “…acts freely in accordance with a self-chosen plan without …show more content…
What else can I add here? A controversy that can arise in regards to autonomy is in the instance that a patient exercises autonomy in a way that is compromising to their health. For example, one way that this situation could occur in the real world is involving treatment of life-threatening diseases such as cancer and HIV. If a patient chooses not to receive the treatment that they desperately need, they will die. However, they were exercising their right to autonomy when they chose not to receive treatment. The decision not to receive the necessary treatment was detrimental to their health. A controversy that can arise in regards to autonomy can occur if a patient exercises autonomy in a way that is compromising to their health. For example, if a cancer patient chooses not to receive the treatment that they desperately need, they will die. However, they were exercising their right to autonomy when they chose not to receive treatment. The decision not to receive the necessary treatment was detrimental to their …show more content…
One aspect that needs improvement is the fact that the authors’ definition makes it seem like it is never ok for anyone else to influence the patient’s decision about a treatment or procedure. It also neglects to that there are some situations where it might be better to have someone else involved in the patient’s decision about their treatment. What happens if the patient is a minor? Babies, toddlers, and young children cannot make healthcare decisions for themselves. They need someone, such as a parent or legal guardian, to step in and make the decisions for

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