2) Freegard (2006) states: “Autonomy as an ethical principle encompasses the fundamental protection and respect of persons, and freedom from interference ... A competent client should have the right to decide what is to be done with his or her body” (p. 112).
Autonomy has been practiced in nursing since Bioethics and the four principles became a prominent approach. Bioethics considers the social and moral implications of new developments in medicine and medical technology (Jecker, Jonsen, & Pearlman, 2012). Autonomy is just one of four principles, however it holds great value to both nurses and patients as it underpins respect, confidentiality and consent over personal information (Freegard, 2006).
So, ethically speaking, why does it
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It is sometimes the case that a client is not competent in making decisions, and in this case the Code of Ethics goes on to state that “Nurses also recognise that making decisions is sometimes constrained by circumstances beyond individual control and that there may be circumstances where informed decision making cannot always be fully realised ” (ANMC, 2008). Competency is “the measure of whether persons possess the capability for autonomous action. Incompetence means that persons are not able to exercise self-determination in a meaningful way” (Romano, 1997). All adults (or people over 18 years of age) are considered to have the capacity to or competency to give consent, unless otherwise proven. There is no tool or measure to determine whether a client is competent other then the health care workers own judgement on whether the client fully understands the information that has been given to them and the consequences and nature of their decision (Victorian Health Association, 2009)
The following is an excerpt from Australian Nursing Federation (2009) which shows the features of a valid consent: Procedure for Informed Consent
The following recommended procedure for informed consent for intervention is outlined below:
1) Provide Information and Discuss Options
Prior to providing information on intervention options there is an expectation that there has been a discussion of the client’s goals. The staff member is then required to give a clear