Role virtues, doctor-patient relationships, and virtuous policy

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This chapter argues that policymakers can often more feasibly influence virtuous role behaviour by professionals by focussing on the governing conditions appropriate to, for example, doctor-patient relationships and lawyer-client relationships, than by attempting to discern practitioners— motives for their decisions and actions. In doing so, the chapter seeks to illuminate some connections between role virtues and professional-client relationships. The chapter develops an argument for why the nature of the professional relationships a doctor has with their patients—as, for example, therapeutic relationships or otherwise—can reveal the presence (or absence) of certain medical virtues in the doctor. This chapter thereby aims to encourage policymakers to think further about what it means to characterise a doctor-patient relationship, for example, as a therapeutic relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives in Role Ethics
Subtitle of host publicationVirtuous, Reasons, and Obligations
EditorsTim Dare, Christine Swanton
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351017350
ISBN (Print)9781138497993
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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