Friday, August 14, 2009
PATIENT AUTONOMY AND COMPETENCE
Patient autonomy and competence in the context of end of life decision making is essentially recognized and respected by health care professionals in health care settings. Difficult as it may sound sometimes, especially when the patient is next of kin or somebody well-known in the society, but, care includes uncompromised obedience to the code of conduct of health care professionals. That is moral decision making means getting hold of the pertinent data about the moral issue, as well as ethical information, to steer clear of mistakes and divergence. These would constitute the facts that may be influential to the patient’s final choice (Johnstone, Megan-Jane, ed. 1999. Bioethics: A Nursing Perspective. Sydney, N.S.W.: Harcourt Saunders).