Patient autonomy and informed consent gives the patient the right to make decisions on behalf of him/herself based on information given by the providing physician. All information received by the patient determines the choice being made. Four years ago, I started have minor pains in my lower abdomen that slowly progressed. Some days were worse than others, but I managed to keep trucking along. I decided that it was time to see a physician to make sure it wasn’t anything to worry about. They confirmed that I had endometriosis and two small benign tumors causing the pain and the physician called me back to his office to discuss some options. Option one was to do nothing and hold out if I could with the pain or option two was to have a hysterectomy and take my right ovary. If I took option two and have the surgery I would no longer be able to have any more kids. My husband and I already have two kids, so I decided that I would do the surgery and be done with the pain. My point is that we had already decided we didn’t want any more children but when the physician explained the surgery option, it just floored us and made us think harder. I never felt pressured by my physician to have the surgery or not to have the surgery. He basically explained both options and let me make my own decision. The physicians that I’ve had encounters with have adopted the fact that patient’s have the right to make their own choices in their own health care.
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