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Books, Journals, New Media
September 10, 2003

Doctor and PatientDoctor and Patient

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(10):1387. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1387-a

The relationship between a doctor and a patient is at the heart of medicine, and its reach is long. It embraces revelations, touching, cutting, anguish, empathy, analysis, and judgment, and it involves many categories of human experience and knowledge. This relationship and its boundaries and content, established over time by its participants, is what this book is about.

Its thematic nucleus is that doctors have been the dominant members of the medical relationship; have justified this hegemony on the grounds that expert knowledge should determine medical actions; have as a result of this thinking made patients silent agents in their association; and even now in the face of a modern medical ethics movement grounded in the principle of patient autonomy, have difficulty in recreating the medical relationship as a medical partnership.