The Idea of Physician as a Bioethical Topic

Paolo Cattorini, Roberto Mordacci


The model of physician as a caregiver and as a resercher has been given extensive attention in the bioethical debate. There has been a transition in the last decades from the traditional idea of a physician inserted in the hippocratic ethos to a more technical and contractarian model; we contend that the latter fails to capture the essential features of the clinical encounter, in that its presuppositions are abstract and lead to unintended results. Other models have been proposed (beneficence, covenant, care) which seem to better fit the reality of the clinical encounter. In the experimental setting there is a particularly illuminating example of the type of relationship which we find more convincing. 


Key words: Physician - Patient relationship - Ethics- Beneficence - Autonomy - Covenant 

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