A review of the philosophical debate on theoretical models for the physician-patient relationship over the past fifteen years may point to some of the more productive questions for future research. Contractual models have been criticized for promoting a legalistic and minimalistic image of the relationship, such that another form of model (such as "convenant") is required. Shifting from a contractual to a contractarian model (in keeping with Rawls' notion of an original position) provides an adequate response to many criticisms of this type. A deeper criticism, however, is one that advocates a shift to a virtue-based approach. A creative amalgam between a contractarian model and elements of the virtue-based approach, combined with appropriate empirical investigation, may yield richer models in the future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Medicine (miscellaneous)