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Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Ubel, PA; Scherr, KA; Fagerlin, A
Published in: Am J Bioeth
November 2017

Many health care decisions depend not only upon medical facts, but also on value judgments-patient goals and preferences. Until recent decades, patients relied on doctors to tell them what to do. Then ethicists and others convinced clinicians to adopt a paradigm shift in medical practice, to recognize patient autonomy, by orienting decision making toward the unique goals of individual patients. Unfortunately, current medical practice often falls short of empowering patients. In this article, we reflect on whether the current state of medical decision making effectively promotes patients' health care goals. We base our reflections, in part, on research in which we observed physicians making earnest efforts to partner with patients in making treatment decisions, but still struggling to empower patients-failing to communicate clearly to patients about decision-relevant information, overwhelming patients with irrelevant information, overlooking when patients' emotions made it hard to engage in choices, and making recommendations before discussing patients' goals.

Duke Scholars

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Published In

Am J Bioeth

DOI

EISSN

1536-0075

Publication Date

November 2017

Volume

17

Issue

11

Start / End Page

31 / 39

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Patient Participation
  • Humans
  • Decision Making
  • Communication
  • Applied Ethics
  • 5001 Applied ethics
  • 4206 Public health
  • 2201 Applied Ethics
 

Citation

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Ubel, P. A., Scherr, K. A., & Fagerlin, A. (2017). Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy. Am J Bioeth, 17(11), 31–39. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2017.1378753
Ubel, Peter A., Karen A. Scherr, and Angela Fagerlin. “Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy.Am J Bioeth 17, no. 11 (November 2017): 31–39. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2017.1378753.
Ubel, Peter A., et al. “Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy.Am J Bioeth, vol. 17, no. 11, Nov. 2017, pp. 31–39. Pubmed, doi:10.1080/15265161.2017.1378753.
Ubel PA, Scherr KA, Fagerlin A. Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy. Am J Bioeth. 2017 Nov;17(11):31–39.

Published In

Am J Bioeth

DOI

EISSN

1536-0075

Publication Date

November 2017

Volume

17

Issue

11

Start / End Page

31 / 39

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Patient Participation
  • Humans
  • Decision Making
  • Communication
  • Applied Ethics
  • 5001 Applied ethics
  • 4206 Public health
  • 2201 Applied Ethics