Courage: A Neglected Virtue in the Patient-Physician Relationship
Shelp, Earl E.
Social Science and Medicine. 1984; 18(4): 351-360.
Shelp discusses the virtue of courage as manifested in the physician patient relationship. He comments briefly on other virtues associated with physicians and patients, defines courage, and outlines the prerequisites for courageous conduct. He then explores the traditional nature of the therapeutic relationship, in which the physician symbolizes relief and protection from mortality to the ill, vulnerable patient. Shelp concludes that when clinical skills prove useless, physicians may be called upon courageously to admit their limitations and to function as a "sustaining presence" to patients in helping them find the courage to negotiate the realities of illness and death. (KIE abstract)
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