Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (1):31 – 46 (2002)
In this paper, I claim that the doctor-patient relationship can be viewed as a vessel of trust. Nonetheless, trust within the doctor-patient relationship has been impaired by managed care. When we conceive of trust as social capital, focusing on the role that it plays in individual and social well-being, trust can be viewed as a public good and a scarce medical resource. Given this, there is a moral obligation to protect the doctor-patient relationship from the cost-containment mechanisms that compromise its ability to produce trust.
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