Provider Choice: Essential To Autonomy or Advertising Gimmick?

Nursing Ethics 3 (2):108-117 (1996)
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Free choice of provider is heralded as a right of autonomy, but the goals of autonomy are better served in today's health care environment when there is informed choice of the care delivery system. The principle of liberty is distinguished from respect for auton omy. Free choice of provider would be demanded only by liberty, except that allocation of health care resources does not meet criteria for the application of liberty. Patients attempting to choose the best practitioner do not have data to support the decision. If data were available, access to these superior practitioners would become an allocation problem. A mythology of the wise practitioner fosters the concept of provider choice as a personal judgement about clinical knowledge. The emerging trends of collaborative care, standardization of practice guidelines and diversity of delivery systems among reimbursers create a situation where a patient's autonomy to choose goals for treatment is respected through the choice of delivery sys tem



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Editorial comment.D. P. Olsen - 2011 - Nursing Ethics 18 (5):626-628.

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