About time: how time influences and facilitates patient autonomy in the clinical encounter

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In this article I discuss the little examined relationship between time and patient autonomy. Using the findings from a study on the experience of premenopausal cancer patients making fertility preservation decisions during their treatment, I focus on how the patients in the study understood time, and how this understanding interacted with and influenced their decision-making. I then analyse in more depth the importance of time in patient decision-making, and the relationship of time to concepts of patient autonomy and decision-making in the field of bioethics more generally. Focusing on the relational conception of autonomy, I conclude that time is an integral part of patient autonomy which warrants further research, such that it can be better integrated into concepts of patient autonomy, and the policy and guidelines that they inform and influence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)pages68–85
JournalMonash Bioethics Review
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2019

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