Medicine needs our trust. We need to be able to rely on individual clinicians and researchers, and we need to be able to have confidence in hospitals and clinics. Yet the organization of our healthcare institutions is not designed to promote that trust. In fact, the structure of our medical institutions seems to undermine our faith.
ABSTRACT While interest in philosophy and medicine has burgeoned in the past two decades, there remains a need for an analysis of the intellectual activity embodied in good medical practice. In this setting, ethical and scientific decision‐making are complexly interrelated. The following paper, collaboratively written by physicians and philosophers, presents a view of applied (clinical) science and applied ethics. Making extensive use of illustrations drawn from routine case material, we seek to indicate a variety of philosophic issues to be found (...) in daily practice, elucidate various levels of critical reasoning within the medical setting, and demonstrate a remarkable similarity between medical and ethical decision‐making. (shrink)
As early as 1981 Gorlin and Zucker produced a film, AComplicatingFactor:Doctors'FeelingsasaFactorinMedicalCare and in a 1983 paper on the subject they described one of the important epiphenomena of the encounter between doctor and patient—namely, the reaction of the physician to the patient and how this affects both the physician and the quality of the relationship. At that time they were concerned with the physicians' ability to reckon with their own reactions to patients who presented with problems or personality traits that complicated (...) the doctor-patient relationship. Some patients were hateful or unlikable, some denied their disease state, some became unusually dependent on the physician, some were intimidating to the doctor. Their behavior evoked responses that tended to complicate the doctor-patient relationship with distancing, unusual identification, or hostility. That publication recognized and explained the problem and went on to suggest a process of achieving emotional awareness and mastery to help physicians maintain their appropriate role. (shrink)