Nir Ben-Moshe
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
My question in the chapter is this: could (and should) the role of the physician be construed as that of a friend to the patient? I begin by briefly discussing the “friendship model” of the physician-patient relationship—according to which physicians and patients could, and perhaps should, be friends—as well as its history and limitations. Given these limitations, I focus on the more one-sided idea that the physician could, and perhaps should, be a friend to the patient (a “physician-qua-friend model” of the physician-patient relationship). I show that given recent developments in our understanding of the physician-patient relationship, this idea is far from asinine. I then make the case that the most plausible conception of the physician-qua-friend model incorporates the following components: (a) a common goal, that is, one that physician and patient share; (b) certain forms of equality between physician and patient; (c) an ideal of a caring physician. Finally, I show how the model can be instantiated in a certain type of physician-patient interaction, namely, in physician-assisted dying.
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Nicomachean Ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 1968 - Harvard University Press.
The Foundations of Bioethics.H. T. Engelhardt - 1986 - Ethics 98 (2):402-405.

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