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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 ?
After a decade of civil war, in 2001, representatives from the island of Bougainville and from the Papua New Guinea government signed a peace agreement establishing an autonomous government in Bougainville and envisaging a referendum on independence in the future.
The revised version (1) accommodates increased funding for the priority areas of health, education and personal security: (2) raises expenditures for autonomous government agencies and (3) pays bank deposit guarantees for losses incurred in recent finance company failures (as required by legislation enacted by the previous congress).
AaAaAa This came up during a meeting on Monday between Minister in charge of the Moroccan Community Abroad, Mohamed Ameur, and President of Andalusian autonomous government, JosE[umlaut] Antonio Grinan.
In December, the Indonesian government and GAM agreed to a ceasefire, elections in 2004, and creation of an autonomous government in the region.
Summary: Laayoune - Former President of the Canaries Autonomous Government, Lorenzo Olarte Cullen, held several meetings with regional political leaders and society activists in the southern city of Laayoune.
They are taking no final agreement with them, but during the eight days in Townsville they did manage to narrow a lot of differences between them on the issues of weapons disposal and autonomous government,'' he said.
We also stand to achieve the indirect involvement of the local Autonomous Government of Navarra.
Summary: Rabat - Moroccan Minister of Equipment and Transport, Karim Ghellab, discussed, Wednesday in Rabat, with the President of the Autonomous Government of Aragon, Marcelino Iglesias, ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
AaAaAaAaAa The ambassador stressed the "special character" of the recent visit of the President of the Autonomous Government of Andalousia,Aa JosE[umlaut] Antonio Grignan to Morocco, which according to him, gave a new impetus to relations between Morocco and this region of Spain, the 2nd trade partner of the Kingdom after Catalonia.
The returnees have arrived through both organized by the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan programs and spontaneously to various states across the south.
Byline: Rabat - Morocco and the Autonomous Government of Sicily vowed, on Friday, to boost their bilateral cooperation.

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