Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine 2016. 9(1):.

The doctor-patient relationship: toward a conceptual re-examination
Hamidreza Namazi, Kiarash Aramesh, Bagher Larijani


The nature of the doctor-patient relationship as a keystone of care necessitates philosophical, psychological and sociological considerations. The present study investigates concepts related to these three critical views considered especially important. From the philosophical viewpoint, the three concepts of "the demands of ethics “,” ethical phenomenology and "the philosophy of the relationship" are of particular importance. From a psychological point of view, the five concepts of "communication behavior patterns" (including submissiveness, dominance, aggression, and assertiveness), "psychic distance", "emotional quotient", "conflict between pain relief and truth-telling", and "body language" have received specific emphasis. Lastly, from the sociological perspective, the three notions of "instrumental action", "communicative action", and "reaching agreement in the light of communicative action" are the most significant concepts to reconsider in the doctor-patient relationship. It should be added, however, that from the sociological point of view, the doctor-patient relationship goes beyond a two-person interaction, as the moral principles of doctors and patients depend on medical and patient ethics respectively. The theoretical foundations of the doctor-patient relationship will finally help establish the different dimensions of medical interactions. This can contribute to the development of principles and multidisciplinary bases for establishing practical ethical codes and will eventually result in a more effective doctor-patient relationship.


doctor-patient relationship, philosophy, psychology, sociology, orbital parameters

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