Instances of Social Construction of Chronic Patients’ Autonomy


International Scientific Conference “Tradition and reform, 2nd edition.  Social reconstruction of Europe” 2013– Copyright © 2013

FORMAT | Presented paper              


HOW TO CITE| SANDU, Antonio. (2013). Instances of Social Construction of Chronic Patients’ Autonomy. Prezentată la International Scientific Conference Tradition an Reform Social Reconstruction of Europe, Second Edition, November 7-8, 2013, Bucharest.

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The aim of the research was to “identify the mechanisms through are build the responsibility for own health condition and the autonomy of the chronic disease patient, during the care process, at the interface with family and the medico-social and religious institutions involved”. Present presentation is considering a secondary analysis of data obtained from “Ethics of health policies” project. Reading data focuses exclusively on identifying mechanisms of social construction of patients’ autonomy in the particular Romanian context. To say that a concept (autonomy) is socially constructed is equivalent with saying that there is no unique essence of autonomy, invariant to cultural, social, historical factors etc. Autonomy, as a social construct, is the result of a series of negations on the meaning assigned to concept within a community. We have identified a number of specific instances of social construction of self, specific to the Romanian culture: a culture of paternalism, organic social solidarity, a culture of poverty and weakness, humbleness valued as humility, a culture of duplicity and relativization of values, personalizing the therapeutic relationship and the distrust in institutionalized systems. The data shown supports the conclusion that the Romanian cultural features are not favorable for chronic care models based on the principle of autonomy.


Social Construction; Chronic Patients’ Autonomy; specific instances of social construction of self.