Argumentation can play an important role in medical consultation. A doctor could, for instance, argue in support of a treatment advice to overcome a patient’s hesitance about it. In this argumentation, the doctor might explicitly present him- or herself as an authority, thereby presenting an argument by authority. Depending on the specific conditions under which the doctor advances such an argument, the doctor’s argument by authority can constitute a sound or a fallacious contribution to the discussion. In this paper, I shall determine what the specific soundness conditions are that apply to a doctor’s argumentation by authority in medical consultation.
Keywords: medical consultation, pragma-dialectical analysis, soundness condition, argument by authority, doctor-patient communication