Consultation instead of prescription?a model for the structure of the doctor?patient relationship

Poiesis and Praxis 2 (1):1-27 (2003)
Against the usual paternalism, this article develops the proposition to structure the interaction between the doctor and the patient as an inter-subjective consultation. This means that the "information" of the patient prior to treatment, when "informed consent" is secured, as well as the actual medical treatment would have to be turned into an interaction between two responsible individuals. The "irresponsibility" of this patient, which is supposed to result from his "uninformedness", as is often argued in favour of keeping to paternalism, does not have to lead to an interaction model of prescription and compliance. Even for the interaction with patients who are unable to understand or consent, the concept of dialogical interaction must be maintained counterfactually; it has only to be supplemented by the variant of "tutorial action". The prescriptive model of behaviour is extended by the obligation—even when the doctor is the sole decision maker—of acting in the well-understood self-interest of the patient and, if necessary, of providing evidence for this orientation of the treatment. Thus, the model of dialogical interaction is shown to be the comprehensive model, because it covers the interests of the doctor and of the patient
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DOI 10.1007/s10202-003-0036-3
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Marian Rabinowitz (1980). Medicine as a Trade. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 1 (3):255-261.
Harry H. Gordon (1983). The Doctor–Patient Relationship. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 8 (3):243-256.

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