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Autonomy and autonomy competencies: a practical and relational approach

Citation

Atkins, KM, Autonomy and autonomy competencies: a practical and relational approach, Nursing Philosophy, 7, (4) pp. 205-215. ISSN 1466-7681 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2006.00266.x

Abstract

This essay will address a general philosophical concern about autonomy, namely, that a conception of autonomy focused on freedom of the will alone is inadequate, once we consider the effects of oppressive forms of socialization on individuals' formation of choices. In response to this problem, I will present a brief overview of Diana Meyers's account of autonomy as relational and practical. On this view, autonomy consists in a set of socially acquired practical competencies in self-discovery, self-definition, self-knowledge, and self-direction. This account provides a distinction between choices that express unreflectively internalized social norms and those that are the result of a critical 'self-reading'. I conclude that this practical conception of autonomy makes much higher demands upon nurses (and patients) than has previously been thought. In fact, if nurses are to be expected to genuinely promote autonomy, they are going to need specific training in counselling-type communication skills.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied Ethics
Research Field:Applied Ethics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Nursing
Author:Atkins, KM (Dr Kim Atkins)
ID Code:41990
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:Philosophy
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2011-11-23
Downloads:0

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