In a short essay (500-750 words), answer the Question at the end of Case Study 1. Cite references to support your positions.

Case Study 1: Patient Autonomy

Patient autonomy in healthcare is an essential principle. It allows patients the freedom to choose their own healthcare. Patients can decide their medical care independently of any external influences. The case of Mr. K (a 62-year old man who had a history with alcohol abuse disorder) presented with severe jaundice and epigastric pain. He was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, and the physicians recommended endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to remove stones in the common bile duct. Due to the potential risks of anesthesia, Mr. K declined the surgery.

This case study will answer the question of whether Mr. K is entitled to refuse treatment. I believe Mr. K is entitled to refuse treatment on the basis of the principle patient autonomy. This principle is based on the belief that individual have the right and ability to decide about their lives. The autonomy principle allows patients to decide what treatment they want, even though it may not be their best interest. Patients’ choices should be respected as long as they are competent and able to make informed decisions.

Patient autonomy is a fundamental principle that requires informed consent. Informing patients about their health and the treatment options they have available to them, as well as their possible benefits and potential risks, is called informed consent. The information must be understood by patients and must be consented to by their physician before any treatment can proceed. In Mr. K’s case, the physician should have provided him with information about his medical condition, the recommended treatment options, and the potential benefits and risks associated with the ERCP procedure. After the doctor had provided this information to Mr. K, it was his decision whether or not to have the operation.

The physician’s duty is to respect the patient’s autonomy and provide them with appropriate medical care. Patients should never be coerced or manipulated by physicians to accept a certain treatment. Physicians should instead help patients to understand their options, and give them the information they need to make informed decisions. In Mr. K’s case, the physician should respect his decision to refuse the ERCP procedure and consider alternative treatment options.

Patient autonomy, a principle that encourages patients’ decisions regarding their health care, is the foundation of patient autonomy. As long as Mr. K is capable and competent to make informed decisions, Mr. K can refuse treatment. Physicians must respect their patient’s autonomy and provide them with the necessary information to make an informed decision about their medical care. In Mr. K’s case, the physician should have provided him with information about his medical condition, the recommended treatment options, and the potential benefits and risks associated with the ERCP procedure. After the doctor had provided this information to Mr. K, it was his decision whether or not to have the operation.

Refer to

Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2019). Principles of Biomedical Ethics (8th Edition). Oxford University Press.

Kumar, S. K., & Sood, S. K. (2018). Informed consent: Ethical obligation or legal compulsion. Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, 8(5), 383-389. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_238_18

Levy, N. (2014). Respect for autonomy: Ethics of ethics In E. N. Zalta (Ed.The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Winter 2014 Edition. Stanford University. Retrieved from https://plato

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