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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 ?
Meanwhile, the "autonomists", adherents to developmentalist thinking and advocates of universalism in foreign policy, have concerns of a more political-strategic nature regarding the North/South confrontation, and seek a rapprochement with other "emerging" countries, which would have common characteristics with Brazil.
In Radin's autonomist regime, the right to a jury trial, to participate in a class action, to a substantial warranty, to expectation damages, to fair-use rights in digital content, and to various other ends, should be elevated to a quasi-mandatory status.
It helped to explain why there was no "mass revolutionary movement in Puerto Rican history." Autonomists like Munoz Marin had proposed a "geographical determinist explanation...Puerto Ricans never developed a successful revolutionary movement against Spain because Puerto Rico was so small and there was no place to hide." In his earlier works, Lewis maintained that the culture of poverty operated independently from race or ethnicity.
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 ...
While THOA intellectuals made clear that the autonomist vision of Qullasuyu would be coexistent with the rest of Bolivia, the camba nation, as represented by the Nacion Camba and the CPSC, is more exclusionary, explicitly responding to and rejecting Andean indigenous immigrants and political influence.
Whether prompted by economic crisis as at present, or by industrial relations crisis as in the 1960s and 1970s, autonomist Marxist theory claims to make sense of such brave endeavors to do without the boss.
The first step--alerting people to the harm caused by a faulty schema and explaining the information-processing flaws that lead to this harm--involves three basic activities, which, in the case of the autonomy schema, include: (a) highlighting instances (whether in narrative texts or in public policies, institutions, or social structures) in which people are blamed, either explicitly or implicitly (i.e., through the use of autonomist concepts, images, narrated events, life stories, or emotions), for their behaviors or life conditions; then (b) pointing out the information concerning situational constraints that is being ignored in this blaming; and finally (c) emphasizing the harm and injustice that result from this omission and the blaming that follows.
They're coming out of the autonomist Marxist tradition.
More ominously, an unofficial political group advocating a right-wing autonomist approach rather than sovereignty, led by former PQ minister Francois Legault, is leading in the opinion polls.
Described by her superiors as "an autonomist" and "extremely reliable," she takes it upon herself to make sure that shifts are always covered.
As Meech had just catalyzed anglophone Canada's hostility to Quebec's autonomist aspirations, Oka acted to further divide the country's two national communities.

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