Background: More focus has been placed towards autonomy when it comes to care and in special towards palliative care. The purpose with palliative care is to relieve and support at the end of the life. When the patient has difficulties to communicate to those around him due to his illness it is hard to preserve the patients right of self-determination. It is very important to consider the patient as autonomous during the course of the illness. Different alternatives have been developed to preserve the patient’s autonomy such as dedicate a deputy or plan the care of the patient in advance.
Aim: The aim of this study was to describe, from an ethical point of view, how the patient’s autonomy could preserved at palliative care.
Method: A general literature study where 11 scientific articles have been analysed from a qualitative checklist whereof the result has been discussed based on the principles of ethics. A literature study was conducted through a search of articles in electronic data bases.
Result: Through participation of the patient during the decision-making, which is based on qualitative information and communication with those among him, his or her autonomy could be preserved. The patient should be considered to be in the centre and participate during the decision-making as far as possible even though the illness will limit the actions of the patient more and more.
Conclusions: It is important that the patient will not be harmed since the patient is vulnerable during the palliative phase. The purpose of the care is to strengthen the patient’s autonomy. This will be achieved by the treatments and investigations that are provided will improve the being of the patient and not cause any harm. The autonomy of a patient in palliative care will be strengthened and preserved by holistic thinking, meeting the patient in his situation and identifying his or her needs.
- Medicin och hälsovetenskap (3)