The Importance of Trust for Ethics, Law, and Public Policy

The importance of preserving trust in physicians and in medical institutions has received widespread attention in recent years. Primarily, this is due to the threats to trust posed by managed care, but there is a general and growing recognition that trust deserves more attention than it traditionally has received in all aspects of medical ethics, law, and public policy. Trust has both intrinsic and instrumental value. Trust is intrinsically important because it is a core characteristic that affects the emotional and interpersonal aspects of the physician/patient relationship. As an instrumental value, trust is widely believed to be essential for effective therapeutic encounters. It has been hypothesized or shown to affect a host of important behaviors and attitudes relating to care, including seeking care, disclosing private information, complying with treatment, and being satisfied with care. Moreover, trust may be a mediator of measurable clinical outcomes and a key factor in the mind–body interactions that underlie placebo/nocebo effects and the effectiveness of alternative medicine. It is no surprise, then, that preserving, justifying, and enhancing trust is the fundamental goal of much of medical ethics, and is a prominent objective in healthcare law and public policy. Discussions of trust and related concepts were commonplace in professionally based medical ethics prior to the 1970s. a 1 2
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DOI 10.1017/S096318010505019X
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Trust, Staking, and Expectations.Philip J. Nickel - 2009 - Journal of the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (3):345–362.
Trust, Staking, and Expectations.Philip J. Nickel - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (3):345-362.
Sound Trust and the Ethics of Telecare.Sander A. Voerman & Philip J. Nickel - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (1):33-49.

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