The Asymmetrical Relationship Between the Health Care Professional and the Patient in Public Hospitals
Albuquerque, Maria Clara
Journal International de Bioéthique = International Journal of Bioethics 2008 March-June; 19(1-2): 165-179
The relationship between the health care professional and the patient is universally seen, in medicine, as the core of medical practice. Through it, the doctor acquires professional abilities and pursues the objectives of medicine, among them, that of curing. This relation is contextualized here by using articles 47 and 48, from the chapter on Human Rights, found in the Code of Ethical Medicine of the Federal Council of Medicine of the Federative Republic of Brazil--both in the sense of the transformational link between two people, and as a relationship of interpersonal tolerance. The objectives of this article are: 1) to evaluate the asymmetry present in the clinical doctor-patient encounter, with respect to the doctor's social and political commitment regarding the patient. Recorded testimonies were used, of individuals who utilize medical assistance in Public Hospitals, carried out in the hallways of the 'das Clínicas Hospital' in Recife, Pernambuco; and 2) to weave an analogy with the book "Masters and Slaves" ('Casa Grande & Senzala'): 'Formation of the Brazilian Family under the Regime of a Patriarchal Economy', written by the Pernambucan sociologist Gilberto Freyre. Among the recorded talks, the resentment regarding discrimination and the authority of the doctor's position can be clearly observed. As a result, this power relation was considered the focus of our discussion--the same power relation as that which reigned over the Brazilian colonization period, in the times of "Masters and Slaves" (Casa Grande & Senzala).
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