The management of self-care as an expression of the responsibility towards one’s own health

14th World Congress of Bioethics- Copyright © 2018

FORMAT | Presented paper              

LANGUAGE | English

HOW TO CITE| SANDU, Antonio & Frunza, A. (2018). The management of self-care as an expression of the responsibility towards one’s own health. Prezentat în cadrul 14th World Congress of Bioethics, 7-12 Decembrie 2018. Bengaluru, India.

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A chronic patient’s self-care management is a framework in which they can express their responsibility towards their own health. Giving ethical value to the concept of responsibility towards the state of one’s own health, we develop an extension of the area of bioethics, from managing the moral acceptability of medical practices, towards the regularisation of a patient’s actions as an autonomous agent. Such ethical regularisation of self-care makes a series of behaviours to have a privileged moral value, and not performing them would bring the patient’s moral guilt.
The ethical dilemma we analysed is the acceptability of introducing the management of self-care in the area of requested ethical behaviours. The research is based on secondary analysis, using grounded theory, of qualitative data obtained in individual or group interviews, targeting the social construction of autonomy and responsibility of the patient with chronic disease. The research was conducted in Romania, the subjects of the interviews being both doctors and patients suffering from different illnesses that require adopting a certain lifestyle.
The results have highlighted a divergence between the position of the doctors and the patients. The need for education in health and the need for including elements of management of self-care in a wider framework of the doctor-patient alliance, is also emphasised. The need for medical and community support in the process of self-care was also noted in the results.
The risk of medicalisation of social life was highlighted, along with the additional vulnerability of patients in case disproportionate emphasis was placed on their responsibility towards self-care.


Social construction, ethics, informed consent.