Deontology and Patient’s Autonomy

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In general, deontology may be regarded as a moral philosophy that equated following rules with ethically appropriate behavior. In other words, the morality of an action is determined by its rightness based on generally accepted regulations, principles, and rules. It may be defined as a duty that has the highest importance in comparison with the action’s consequences. In nursing, the deontological framework plays an immeasurably significant role in the cooperation between health care providers and patients based on ethical principles, mutual trust, and respect. The absence of nurse practitioners’ professionalism, trust, and cooperation between clinicians and patients, and all employees’ coordinated work has a considerably negative impact on treatment and health care delivery.

According to deontological ethics, a competent health care provider should apply all his or her skills and knowledge to restore the patients’ condition, provide emotional support, or improve the quality of their life in the case of chronic or terminal disease and bring relief to their sufferings. In addition, a nurse practitioner should avoid the discussions of patients’ health in their presence with colleagues or other specialists. At the same time, a patient has an absolute right to receive full information concerning his or her medical condition and the severity of illness. In general, a registered nurse should expend all efforts to provide successful health care delivery to a patient by the principles of nonmaleficence and beneficence. However, in certain circumstances, the accuracy of the deontological principles of ethics may be put into question.

Diabetes may be regarded as one of the most disturbing and complicated diseases that has a highly negative impact on the quality of the patient’s life. Nevertheless, according to the results of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), intensive and time-sensitive therapy substantively reduces the risks of conjugated cardiovascular disease and early mortality (Writing Group for the DCCT/EDIC Research Group, 2015). However, a patient may exercise his or her right and privilege to the autonomy in decision-making and refuse treatment regardless of the disease’s severity. Uncontrolled diabetes traditionally leads to “serious multiple long-term complications, including constriction of blood vessels, nephropathy and retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and problems of the cardiovascular system” (Pamungkas, et al., 2017, p. 2). Nevertheless, the patient’s autonomy is the basic ethical principle of nursing, and any invasive treatment and aggressive investigations should not be conducted without his or her permission. Moreover, a competent health care provider should be certain that the patient’s wish is independent and sincere, as family members frequently put pressure on the person.

From a personal perspective, the patient’s autonomy is highly significant even if outcomes are unpredictable. On the one hand, limitation and involuntary treatment of people may lead to a reduced number of people who suffer from this severe chronic disease. At the same time, a patient should have an opportunity to express their rights regardless of their diagnosis and health conditions. Every person has an individual attitude towards clinicians and treatment, and a competent nurse practitioner may persuade him or her to accept treatment through the correct provision of information rather than inappropriate enforcement. Moreover, in the case of the patient’s refusal, nurses may educate family members to render medical assistance upon his or her approval as well in the case of health deterioration.


Pamungkas, R. A., Chamroonsawasdi, K., & Vatanasomboon, P. (2017). A systematic review: Family support integrated with diabetes self-management among uncontrolled type II diabetes mellitus patients. Behavioral Sciences, 7(62), 1-17. Web.

Writing Group for the DCCT/EDIC Research Group. (2015). Association between 7 years of intensive treatment of type 1 diabetes and long-term mortality. JAMA, 313(1), 45-53. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, January 27). Deontology and Patient’s Autonomy. Retrieved from


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"Deontology and Patient’s Autonomy." PsychologyWriting, 27 Jan. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Deontology and Patient’s Autonomy'. 27 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Deontology and Patient’s Autonomy." January 27, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Deontology and Patient’s Autonomy." January 27, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Deontology and Patient’s Autonomy." January 27, 2022.