Autonomy - See Me

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How others see us, in addition to how we see ourselves, determines our ability to be autonomous. In healthcare, Michel Foucault coined the term “medical gaze” to describe how clinicians see individuals not as unique identities but as variations of a biomedical standard (Lupton, 2009; Misselbrook, 2013). Rather than see and understand the unique identity and background of each patient, clinicians with this gaze filter out personal details and only focus on the objective medical information to diagnose. This standardization of the individual perpetuates power structures that disfavor individuality and autonomy, harming physical health and social structures. As an inherent part of our health system, it is a gaze to actively work against.