Patient autonomy is a fundamental principle in end of life decision making. However, its realisation may take a variety of forms. Discourse analysis was conducted in a qualitative interview study of 19 physicians. The physicians made use of three different discourses, each of which contained a specific understanding of patient autonomy and a physician’s proper activities in the context of end of life decision making.
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Competing interests: none declared
The ethics committee of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa approved the study protocol.
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