Autonomy: The Need for Limits
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1996 Dec; 22(6): 340-343.
This essay addresses the issue of the autonomy of the National Health Service (NHS) patient in the UK. It is argued, with reference to clinical examples, that some patients abuse their rights to medical care to the detriment of other patients and the service providers. A case is made for limiting the rights of patients in order to improve the service for all who use it. A range of mechanisms are considered with a discussion of the issues raised by each solution in turn.
Alcohol Abuse; Autonomy; Behavior Disorders; Emergency Care; Health; Health Care; Illness; Patient Compliance; Patients; Patients' Rights; Physicians; Primary Health Care; Psychological Stress; Quality of Health Care; Refusal to Treat; Resource Allocation; Rights; Scarcity; Self Induced Illness; Socioeconomic Factors; Utilitarianism;
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