Vol. 15 No. 1 (2011): Revista Científica Pensar Enfermagem
Review articles

Autonomia pessoal e cuidados de enfermagem: uma revisão da literatura empírica e teórica

João Veiga
Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa

Published 2011-07-09


  • ethics,
  • nursing ethics,
  • autonomy,
  • personal autonomy,
  • informed consent

How to Cite

Veiga, J. (2011). Autonomia pessoal e cuidados de enfermagem: uma revisão da literatura empírica e teórica. Pensar Enfermagem, 15(1), 39–69. https://doi.org/10.56732/pensarenf.v15i1.51


Autonomy is a concept that is part of modernity, having emerged in the context of moral philosophy in the thirteenth century and progressively affirmed itself as a distinctive feature of liberal societies. Regarding the delivery of health care, it was with the Nuremberg Code, in the middle of last century, that respect for patient autonomy was introduced in the ethical and professional conduct of doctors and nurses. Besides its relevance in all the theoretical constructs in the nursing discipline, the concept of autonomy emerges as a central element in the conceptual model of D. Orem. However, its ethical dimension would only be fully acknowledged with the introduction of Personal Autonomy in the NOC classification. This development comes throughout an intense investigation of the subject in bioethics, especially in the principalistic model. Despite the large number of studies in which personal autonomy in nursing care is constituted as a study object, the construction of the concept, in terms of its implementation is still incipient. This justifies the pursuit of research into the conceptual definition and its practical implications.


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