Respect for Autonomy: Seeking the Roles of Healthcare Design From the Principle of Biomedical Ethics. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: This article aims to discuss the role of the healthcare environment on patient's autonomy. Referring to biomedical ethics will provide a research logic and form a theoretical framework for healthcare designers to define patient autonomy, to master the conditions for promoting it, and to discover the potential of the environment. BACKGROUND: In modern society, it becomes the responsibility of healthcare architects to realize the design of "benefit for patients." The goal of healthcare environment design and research is also gradually from a basic level of ensuring the physiological safety of patients to achieving a higher level of respecting patients and helping realize their self-realization. However, how to express respect to patients in the healthcare environment is ambiguous. In order to break through the limitation of architectural specialty, we propose to introduce biomedical ethics. Under this major premise, this article will discuss from the perspective of respect for autonomy (RA). METHOD: This article combines the definition of autonomy and the discussion of the medical and nursing practice to summarize and propose the themes about RA. It draws on the top-down deductive logic of biomedical ethics from theory to application and applies the three-condition theory of Beauchamp and Childress to deduce the role of the healthcare environment on patient autonomy in each theme. CONCLUSION: Introducing biomedical ethics into the study of environmental design provides a more theoretical and systematic way of thinking about the role of the healthcare environment. Some autonomy-supportive design strategies are collected and proposed.

published proceedings

  • HERD

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, L., Zhang, S., & Lu, Z.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Liwei||Zhang, Shanshan||Lu, Zhipeng

publication date

  • July 2020