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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


LAZARO, J.  y  GRACIA, D.. The doctor-patient relationship in history. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2006, vol.29, suppl.3, pp.7-17. ISSN 1137-6627.

In the final decades of the XX century the way doctors and patients related to each other changed more than in the twenty-five preceding centuries. The change from a paternalistic to an autonomous model represented a transformation with few historical precedents. The evolution of this phenomenon over time affected the three elements involved: 1. The patient, who had traditionally been considered as a passive receiver of the decisions that the doctor took in his name and for his benefit, was transformed at the end of the XX century into an agent with well-defined rights and a broad capacity for autonomous decision-making on the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, which were offered to him and no longer imposed on him. 2. The doctor, from being a priestly father-figure (as corresponded to the traditional role of his profession) was transformed into a technical adviser to his patients, to whom he offered his knowledge and advice, but whose decisions were no longer taken for granted. 3. The clinical relationship, from being bipolar, vertical and infantilising, became more collective (with the involvement of numerous health professionals), more horizontal and better adapted to the type of relationship appropriate to adult subjects in democratic societies.

Palabras clave : Doctor; Patient; Clinical relationship; Clinical history; Autonomy.

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