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1. the ability to function in an independent fashion.
2. in bioethics, self-determination that is free from both controlling interferences by others and personal limitations preventing meaningful choice (such as inadequate understanding or faulty reasoning). Having the capacity to act with autonomy does not guarantee that a person will actually do so with full understanding and without external controlling influences. adj., adj auton´omous.


The condition or state of being autonomous, able to make decisions unaided by others.
[auto- + G. nomos, law]


/au·ton·o·my/ (aw-ton´ah-me) the state of functioning independently, without extraneous influence.auton´omous


Etymology: Gk, autos + nomos, law
the quality of having the ability or tendency to function independently. autonomous, adj.


An individual’s right to self-determination.
The ability of an individual to exercise his or her rights, have choices respected, remain independent and be involved in his or her own care decisions.

Ethical principle of individual self-determination.
Vox populi
The personal capacity to consider alternatives, make choices and act without undue influence or interference from others.


Vox populi Personal capacity to consider alternatives, make choices, and act without undue influence or interference of others. See Functional autonomy, Physician autonomy.


nursing A patient's personal independence; of being self-governing.
[auto- + G. nomos, law]

autonomy (·tˑ·n·mē),

n a principle of medical ethics according to which a person should respect the rights of other individuals to freely determine their own choices and decisions.


Condition or state of being autonomous, able to make decisions unaided by others.
[auto- + G. nomos, law]

Patient discussion about autonomy

Q. In the future will he with ASD ever be able to live independently? I have a friend who is staying as a paying guest and is being taken care of by all our family members. In the future will he with ASD ever be able to live independently?

A. I am very much moved by your deeds.

• Many people with autism do flourish and go on to hold responsible jobs and live independently. Others have the intellectual abilities to be employed but are held back by their inability to adapt socially to the stresses of everyday life.

• The focus of every intervention program for the person with autism should be to work on helping them adapt to living in society. Their quality of life and ability to function is far more important than how they do on an I.Q. test.

Q. Where should i go when i feel down and lonely? is there like an independence way to lift my spirit?

A. I spend a lot of time in "my room". It has a window to look out and a comfortable chair to sit and think in. I can shut the door to get real quiet. I can read and study things. Reading gets my mind off of down feelings. There is also a time for going out walking. It frees my mind. When I come back I seem to have a new perspective on things. Sometimes I go and sit out in the woods for awhile where I live. I like listening to the birds and nature sounds. Its nice to see clouds going by in the sky or the stars at night. If something's really bothering you, call on someone you can trust and talk it out. Just find that activity that suits you best and get busy at it.

Q. I am wondering if there is any chance that a child with autism could lead an independent life later. My elder daughter was diagnosed with autism and I look out for information on raising a child with autism. I am wondering if there is any chance that a child with autism could lead an independent life later. I need help.

A. Hi there. Mellou here. I have a 19 yr old son that has autism. Yes I believe that children can be taught to live a independant life. My son attends a Independant Living Center to learn how to be self sufficiate and so far he is learning alot. It is just taking awhile for him to get at it and do it.
Hope this helps you hon. Good luck

More discussions about autonomy
References in periodicals archive ?
When considering vaccination in children - for example, the triple combined mumps, measles and rubella vaccine - the autonomist believes in advising parents about the advantages and disadvantages of the vaccine aiming to offer education and to empower an informed choice by parents.
On the view of the autonomist supporters of the classical paradigm, the autonomy of the provinces is best protected if judges interpret the constitutional exclusivity of legislative powers in the strong, classical sense: there should be as little overlap of federal and provincial legislative powers as possible.
Mayoral Barnes's campaign against prostitution in his community began in mid-1898, when he wrote a series of letters to the Ponce Ayuntamiento (city council) dominated by elite Liberal Autonomists.
For, the autonomist claims, it is the artwork's design rather than its content that holds our attention.
A similar depoliticization occurred with Paul Virilio, whose name I had first heard mentioned among the Autonomists.
Hence, reformers, ecologists, autonomists, trade unionists, anarchists, socialists, teachers, organizers, agitators, preachers, feminists, social changers of every kind and stripe - whatever else we do locally and globally - must defy the farce of the death penalty.
He interpreted for Aguinaldo the larger implications of the split between the annexationists and the autonomists, on one hand, and the advocates of full independence, on the other.
The soil of Slovakia was already richly manured with anti-Semitism, and Father Tiso's regime did not strive to reform this record; indeed, as the historian Eugene Steiner remarks, the Slovak autonomists under Tiso were "eager to please the German" in the resolution of the Jewish problem.
I'd already seen Nele defend hopeless positions in front of large groups before, such as during the long student strike of '88 and in the weekly meetings of the West autonomists in an old factory yard on Mehringdamm, and each time she succeeded in turning the mood in her favor.
This chapter begins with a review of the traditional debate between Autonomists and Anti-autonomists, cognitivists and their opponents, consequentialists and anti-consequentialists.
He has traced their formation and the shifting dynamics among exiles with distinct visions: autonomists, annexationists, nationalists, liberal elites, radical tobacco workers, exhausted refugees, labor organizers, anarchists, advocates of independence, revolutionary theorists, politicized bandits, and military leaders.