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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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


The condition or state of being autonomous, able to make decisions unaided by others.
[auto- + G. nomos, law]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


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.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Vox populi Personal capacity to consider alternatives, make choices, and act without undue influence or interference of others. See Functional autonomy, Physician autonomy.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


nursing A patient's personal independence; of being self-governing.
[auto- + G. nomos, law]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


Condition or state of being autonomous, able to make decisions unaided by others.
[auto- + G. nomos, law]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

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
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References in periodicals archive ?
This is truly bad news for autonomists. It suggests that the state of ignorance among consumers when facing complex transactions is not reparable by tweaking the process of consent.
(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.
He strove to build a Puerto Rican national identity centered on the vision of Albizu Campos, and saw the autonomist vision of Munoz Marin and the PPD as antithetical to a Puerto Rican cultural identity.
Luis Munoz Rivera, now president of the Autonomist government administrative council said with dramatic flair, "We are Spaniards and wrapped in the Spanish flag we die." On April 25, El Pais reported that San Juan "presents a delightful military aspect ...
In autonomist discourse the state is an Andean and specifically Aymara-Quechua institution.
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.
(48) Perhaps the ultimate expression of this outlook was the Metropolitan Indians, a group which flourished in 1977 and combined counter-cultural primitivism with unsparing mockery aimed at the PCI, the armed groups, the autonomists, and anyone else who caught their attention.
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.
Autonomists attempt to create alternative worlds and worldviews, in the here and now of everyday life (rather than in some far off utopian future).
This essay will introduce two contrasting models of global governance to illustrate the divergent positions and visions of the reformist NGOs on the one hand, and anarchists and Marxist autonomists on the other: the simple polity model and the imperial rhizome, respectively.
Instead of referenda, the ADQ wants to make their ramshackle jurisdiction "the Autonomist State of Quebec." Autonomists are this year's sovereigntists, who were last year's sovereigntist-associationalists, who were once, long ago and comparatively unambiguously, separatists.