The aim of the present study is to identify ethical dilemmas as experienced by hospital personnel. The dilemmas reported often focused on problems of hospitalised patients' autonomy. Tape-recorded interviews were performed with different categories of personnel, from different care areas. One of the problems was found to be a diminishing autonomy for hospitalised patients, especially in the areas of long-term and psychiatric care. According to the interviews the reasons for the obstacles for autonomy were due to the hospital organisation, the staff, the patients themselves and to relatives.