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Keywords

 

Authors

  1. Powers, Penny RN, PhD

Abstract

This article argues that the concept of empowerment has been co-opted by health professionals and redefined as an intervention to produce compliance. Patients are considered empowered by health professionals only if they make the correct choices as defined by the health care provider. Patients are not informed about all possible choices and are not free to make their own choices for their own reasons. Empowerment is a coercive strategy that is justified by its outcomes and creates dependent populations.

 

THIS ARTICLE presents the argument that the concept of empowerment is used by health professionals as an intervention to produce compliance. Empowerment as it is taught to social agents such as nurses, pharmacists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, etc, is a coercive strategy that is justified by its outcomes. Health professionals believe they are performing a service by empowering individuals to make correct choices in their lives. Patients are considered empowered, however, if and only if they make the correct choices as defined by the health care provider.