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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 ?
Under the agreement, the Bougainville autonomous government has its own public service, police, tax regime, commercial banks and courts.
Among employees who spoke at the flag ceremony, Elizabeth Natano said it was her second time to experience the autonomous government.
GAM intensified its campaign for independence, even though it had accepted the proposed autonomous government of the region as part of Indonesia.
The joint statement said the two sides had discussed "fiscal autonomy and administration of justice," as well as the issue of budget transfers from the national government to the proposed Muslim autonomous government during the closed door talks in the southern city of Davao.
''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.
Nokia said CTGC was a public body operating the corporate network of Catalonia's autonomous government. The network will be operational in June and will provide coverage for the whole territory of Catalonia by the end of 2000.
Duterte said the Mindanaoans' approval of the law 'will not only serve as an expression of your desire to end more than half a century of armed struggle in the region, but will also serve as a testament to your determination to bring genuine peace and development in Muslim Mindanao to an autonomous government that truly represents and understands the needs of the Muslim people.'
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.
* Visits to the Commission: July 6, Martin Uppenbrink (President of the Bundesamt for environmental protection); July 7, Sir Brian Unwin (President of the EIB), judges from the US Supreme Court, Viktor Klima (Austrian Federal Chancellor), Antoni Rami (Finance Minister in the Autonomous Government of the Balearic Islands) , Ron Sommer (Chairman and Managing Director of Deutsche Telekom); July 8, Petar Stoyanov (President of Bulgaria), Pamela Chan (President of Consumers International) and Igino Sogaro (President of EuroCommerce); July 9, Josselin de Rohan (President of the Regional Council of Brittany), Andoni Monforte (President of the Asociaci n Fonogr fica y Videogr fica Espa ola), Eliot Morley (UK Fisheries Minister); July 10, Felix Machin (President of the Club of Rome)
'We note sadly that both houses [of Congress], should they persist in their revisions, will fail to replace the weak autonomous government with a strong autonomous government.

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