Understanding Medical Autonomy - Informed Consent

The benefits of membership – from one of our very first members…

This interview with Lisa Dunnington of our partner organisation, the PHA (People’s Health Alliance), covers why she joined My Medical Choice 2 years ago, informed consent, the benefits she’s found from being a member, as well as explaining how she became involved in the PHA and their current focus on mental health in these difficult times.

*Please note that all the documents that used to be in the Welcome Pack are now in the members’ private account page for easier access.


The Importance of Medical Autonomy

Medical autonomy is rooted in the ethical principle of respect for persons. It recognises the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, granting them the freedom to make decisions based on their values, beliefs, and circumstances. In the UK, this principle is not just an ethical guideline but is also enshrined in law, ensuring that patients’ rights are protected.

Challenges to Medical Autonomy

While the UK healthcare system upholds the principle of medical autonomy, there are challenges that patients might face:

Lack of Information

For patients to make informed decisions, they need complete and accurate information about their medical condition, treatment options, risks, and benefits. However, there might be instances where they feel inadequately informed.

External Pressures

Patients might face pressure from family, friends, or even medical professionals, which can influence their decisions.

Complex Medical Jargon

Medical terminologies can be complex, making it challenging for patients to fully grasp the implications of certain treatments or procedures.

Empowering Patients: Steps to Navigate Medical Autonomy

Seeking Comprehensive Information

Patients should not hesitate to ask their healthcare providers any questions they might have. They should seek clarity on all aspects of their condition and potential treatments.

Utilising Resources

There are resources available that can aid patients in making informed decisions. For instance:

  1. Cell Salvage Machines for Bloodless Surgery

Table: Key Aspects of Medical Autonomy

Aspect Description
Informed Consent Patients have the right to be informed about all aspects of their treatment.
Right to Refuse Patients can refuse treatment, even if it goes against medical advice.
Privacy and Confidentiality Personal medical information should be kept confidential unless consent is given.


Medical autonomy is a cornerstone of the UK healthcare system, ensuring that patients are at the centre of all medical decisions. By being informed, utilising available resources, and understanding their rights, patients can navigate the complexities of the healthcare system, ensuring that their voices are heard and respected.

Navigating Medical Autonomy can at times seem daunting, but once you understand and follow the procedure laid out, it not only falls into place, but you soon realise it can be quite straightforward.  A good place to start on how this system works is to gain an understanding of “Informed Consent” (see article below).

Informed Consent Within UK Healthcare System


My Medical Choice is not here to judge your decision, it is about empowering people to have control over their own healthcare.

My Medical Choice is all about your Medical Autonomy in healthcare and making sure the emergency team treating you follows your specific wishes. When used correctly, it is a powerful system that can notify medical teams about allergies, procedures etc., right down to more personalised decisions such as people concerned about mRNA in blood, and/or, wanting a solution to vaccinated blood (as listed in the examples in some articles).

Just a friendly reminder that no information in this publication constitutes legal or medical advice from My Medical Choice or any of our affiliates and the contents of this document are for educational and support purposes only.