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Within biomedical ethics, the principle of autonomy focuses on a patient’s right to make choices about his or her medical decisions and care. Along these lines, patients can then make decisions based on their own beliefs, attitudes, and customs, which is referred to as rational autonomy. However, shared-decision making is often more complicated than this, and patients often desire input from their spouse, family, and other trusted individuals, which is termed relational autonomy. These two concepts of autonomy drive different approaches to an individual’s perceptions and choices regarding medical-decision making during the end of one’s life.
Bioethics and Medical Ethics
Balce M, Navin M, Brummett A, Wasserman J. Differences in rational and relational autonomy during end-of-life care. Poster presented at: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Embark Capstone Colloquium; 2023 May; Rochester Hills, MI.