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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 ?
They illustrate the point stressed in autonomist Marxist theory that, no matter how difficult or doomed the experiment, the desire to do without the boss is latent and capable of occasional realization.
This process culminates in the critic's repeatedly providing multiple counter-exemplars (current, historical, or fictional) that include the crucial information about circumstantial constraints that is systematically excluded from autonomist exemplars and prototypes.
First elected in 2003, reduced to a minority status in 2007, but restored to a modest but real majority position in 2008, the Charest government inherited the traditional autonomist position in the Canadian federal dialogue.
Autonomist movements work against the treatment approach by attempting to provide social spaces for the physical and psychological enactment of alternatives.
Vice President Alvaro Linera Garcia attacked the autonomist movement for covering up for corrupt officials, saying in an interview with Santa Cruz newspaper El Deber, "The noble flag of autonomy has been used to cover up scandalous corruption.
However, anarchists and autonomist Marxists envision a decentered and deterritorialized, yet all encompassing, global network of rule and resistance to it.
The autonomist decided it was best to leave off associating himself with the sovereignty-associationalist until the ROC had finished doing its ding-dong-the-separatist-dragon-is-slain routine.
The latter gradually gave up their autonomist urban outlook and widened their perspectives.
The autonomist in general gives the highest priority in her advice for respecting people, not violating their wishes and feelings, and treating them as individuals with rights and responsibilities.
The difference between this conception and the contemporary autonomist justification for the practice of informed consent may appear subtle, but is, in fact, quite significant.
Thus, it frequently happens that theorists assert their mentalism but then tacitly fall back on autonomist or Platonist presuppositions.
Linguistic Realities: An Autonomist Metatheory for the Generative Enterprise.