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Gerais : Revista Interinstitucional de Psicologia

On-line version ISSN 1983-8220


CAMARGO-BORGES, Celiane; MISHIMA, Silvana  and  MCNAMEE, Sheila. From autonomy to relational responsibility: exploring new understandings of healthcare practices. Gerais, Rev. Interinst. Psicol. [online]. 2008, vol.1, n.1, pp. 08-19. ISSN 1983-8220.

Healthcare practices and their organization have changed along the years, in articulation with social and scientific movements, acquiring separate meanings throughout history. Nowadays, the concept of autonomy, understood as the principle of freedom of choice, has been privileged in this context. This study addresses the individualistic character and use of that concept in the healthcare context. Relational Responsibility (RR) is presented as a coherent resource to the premises of the Unified Health Care in Brazil, especially in Primary Health Care. RR concerns relational processes, taken within a dialogical approach toward healthcare practices, allowing practitioners to promote proximity and bonding among social actors involved, creating paths for compromise and co-responsibility. Hence the possibility of a less individualistic and more relational and responsible concept of autonomy.

Keywords : autonomy; relational responsibility; social constructionism; primary healthcare; Unified Healthcare System (Brazil).

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