“Being Guided”: What Oncofertility Patients’ Decisions Can Teach Us About the Efficacy of Autonomy, Agency, and Decision-Making Theory in the Contemporary Critical Encounter

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Abstract

Recent research on patient decision-making reveals a disconnect between theories of autonomy, agency, and decision-making and their practice in contemporary clinical encounters. This study examines these concepts in the context of female patients making oncofertility decisions in the United Kingdom in light of the phenomenon of “being guided.” Patients experience being guided as a way to cope with, understand, and defer difficult treatment decisions. Previous discussions condemn guided decision-making, but this research suggests that patients make an informed, autonomous decision to be guided by doctors. Thus, bioethicists must consider the multifaceted ways that patients enact their autonomy in medical encounters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-35
JournalInternational Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2020 University of Toronto Press. Paton, A. (2019). “Being Guided”: What Oncofertility Patients’ Decisions Can Teach Us About the Efficacy of Autonomy, Agency, and Decision-Making Theory in the Contemporary Critical Encounter. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, 12(2), 18-35. https://doi.org/10.3138/ijfab.12.2.02

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