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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

On-line version ISSN 1807-5762


SOARES, Jussara Calmon Reis de Souza  and  CAMARGO JR., Kenneth Rochel. Patient autonomy in the therapeutic process as a value for health. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2007, vol.11, n.21, pp.65-78. ISSN 1807-5762.

This paper presents a critical review of concepts of health and disease in biomedicine, as a contribution to the establishment of new and positive health proposals. Our main point of reference is Canguilhem's epistemology, as the basis for highlighting fundamental points in the discussion about health, integrating it with the concept of patient autonomy in the therapeutic process, using an analysis method that takes an approach based on complexity. In this approach, autonomy is relative, relational and inseparable from dependence. It is also a necessary condition for health, in its broadest meaning, as the self-recovering potential of the human organism. Therefore, autonomy becomes a fundamental value to be reinstated and defended in medical practice, as well as in the social and human sciences' field. A discussion of the implications of the concept of autonomy is presented, if only as a harbinger of a future state, as a precondition for health, citizenship and for life itself.

Keywords : physician-patient relation; patient autonomy; health; Canguilhem; complexity.

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