Vulnerability as a key concept in relational patient- centered professionalism

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (2):155-172 (2021)
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The goal of this paper is to propose a relational turn in healthcare professionalism, to improve the responsiveness of both healthcare professionals and organizations towards care of patients, but also professionals. To this end, it is important to stress the way in which difficult situations and vulnerability faced by professionals can have an impact on their performance of work. This article pursue two objectives. First, I focus on understanding and making visible shared vulnerability that arises in clinical settings from a triple perspective: patient and family, health professionals, and institutions. Second, to address this challenge for professionalism, in this paper I articulate the term "relational centered-patient professionalism", which has two main axes. The relational approach means taking into account how the relationships among professionals, patients and institutions determine the constitution and evolution of those professional values. The focus on patient centered care is indispensable, because it is the ultimate goal pursued by the development of these professional values, and must always be at the center.



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