It is argued that promissory obligation arising from the contract of employment offers a simpler and less contentious explanation and justification of the doctor-nurse relationship at work, than does May's proposal of second-order reasons. The second-order reason position is rejected as the norm for that relationship, and in the exceptional case, where it is admitted, shared employee status is identified as primary validator of a doctor as locus of rational authority. Finally, a brief case is made for a more precise vocabulary to describe the doctor-nurse relationship, as a contribution to more collegial relations.
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