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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 ?
Autonomists view arbitration as an inaccessible, expensive, procedurally limited forum where underfunded claimants are at a disadvantage.
29) Despite individual differences, autonomists seem in full agreement that what we really need at the present conjuncture is not 'full employment', the usual mantra of the left.
In autonomist discourse the state is an Andean and specifically Aymara-Quechua institution.
The autonomist concept of 'self-valorization' is also a useful attempt to describe and understand the exhilaration of the workers and the qualitative changes they enjoy under workers' control.
38) The PCI's conclusions were, if anything, even more hostile: for both Lama and party leader Enrico Berlinguer, the autonomists represented fascism in a new guise.
But so far, that discussion has been primarily dominated by two camps: the autonomists in favor of a limited duty and the utilitarian humanitarians in favor of expanding it.
For autonomists, such systems are deeply authoritarian in nature, entrenched in patriarchal, imperialist, capitalist, and relations that serve to generate profit, justify incarceration, and enforce conformity (Dorter, 2007).
He engages quite masterfully with anarchist, Marxist, and liberal traditions before transitioning to poststructuralism and finally locating himself within postanarchism and autonomist Marxism.
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.
His was not the pragmatic line of Munoz Rivera and other prominent autonomists who moved smoothly from Spanish to American domination, but one keen on the shared "sentimiento nacionalista autonomista," however new-fangled and contradictory it may have been.
Much like the Italian autonomists and reconstructed Marxists who augment class to a sphere of socioeconomic influences, Downing shuns the typical and narrow overemphasis on traditional disciplinary forms of knowledge making in favor of an epistemic field or "disciplinary matrix" (Downing 105).
Autonomists became known as 'Greens', the proponents of unilateral unification as 'Whites', front the colours of their candidate lists tot the November 'election', and these names survive today in Montenegrin politics.