The physician may be viewed as superior to the patient, because the physician has the knowledge and credentials, and is most often the one that is on home ground. The physician-patient relationship is also complicated by the patient's suffering (patient derives from the Latin patior, "suffer") and limited ability to relieve it on his/her own, potentially resulting in a state of desperation and dependency on the physician. A physician should at least be aware of these disparities in order to establish rapport and optimize communication with the patient. It may be further beneficial for the doctor-patient relationship to have a form of shared care with patient empowerment to take a major degree of responsibility for her or his care. Benefiting or pleasing
A dilemma may arise in situations where determining the most efficient treatment, or encountering avoidance of treatment, creates a disagreement between the physician and the patient, for any number of reasons. In such cases, the physician needs strategies for presenting unfavorable treatment options or unwelcome information in such a way that minimizes strain on the doctor-patient relationship while benefiting the patient's overall physical health and best interests. Truth and informed consent
How doctors should present information about a patient's condition to the patient has changed over time. There has been a shift from paternalism or "doctor knows best" to the idea that patients must have a choice in the provision of their care, and be given the right to make informed consentto medical procedures. There can be issues with how to handle informed consent in a doctor-patient relationship, for instance, with patients who don't want to know the truth about their condition. There are ethical concerns regarding the use of placebo and whether or not giving a placebo leads to an undermining of trust between doctor and patient and whether deceiving a patient for their own...
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