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Like marriage, without the romance
  1. John Portmann
  1. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA


    Physicians and philosophers have contributed to the field of medical ethics several different paradigms for the physician-patient relationship. Here I suggest another: marriage. Patients usually enter into relationships as we enter marriage: we allow our high hopes to obscure the possibility of deep disappointment. The argument of the essay encourages renewed focus on the contractual element of physician-patient relationships.

    • Relationship
    • malpractice
    • emotions
    • hope
    • fear
    • contract
    • covenant
    • marriage
    • expectations

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    • John Portmann, PhD, (MPhil CANTAB), is Executive Assistant to the Provost at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.