AIAS Lunch Seminar Donderdag 7 mei Margo Trappenburg: 'The robustness of medical professional ethics'

‘The robustness of medical professional ethics’


In the old days (say up till the nineteen seventies) doctors were taken to be devoted to their patient’s best interest. In typical paternalist fashion they assumed that they would be able to establish the patient’s best interest themselves, but they were not in the habit of weighing the patient’s interest against competing claims. No doubt this attitude was partly caused by personal idealism and by professional socialization (vocational training). However, it was probably also caused by the institutional and societal environment in which medical work was taking place: doctors enjoyed professional autonomy, both individually and collectively as a profession. As professionals they were highly respected by their patients and their expertise and authority were taken for granted.

During the last three decades the societal environment has changed. Patients have changed; many of them have become highly educated. Modern patients tend to question their doctors’ authority. Doctors have changed. Whereas in the nineteen fifties an overwhelming majority were married men, with a wife who took care of their family and their household needs, these days many doctors are women who have to combine their professional life with family responsibilities. And last but not least, the organizational structure and societal climate surrounding professionals has changed considerably. A neoliberal ideology has led to the introduction of all kinds of pressures which are meant to induce professionals to perform efficiently and cost effectively. Professionals have to deal with hospital managers, who are much more profit oriented than professionals used to be. Following neoliberal orthodoxie or market incentives introduced by the so-called new public management approach professionals have to answer consumer demands rather than patients’ needs. According to Eliot Freidson, we can witness a decline of professionalism. Is he right?

see also

Dag: Donderdag 7 mei
Tijd: 12.15 – 13.15 uur.
Locatie: AIAS, 3e verdieping gebouw M, Plantage Muidergracht 12
Inschrijven: Stuur ons a.u.b. zo snel mogelijk een mail.
Dan ligt er een broodje voor u klaar.

Klik hier voor een overzicht van alle lunch seminars van februari – juni 2009

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