The patient is king: But does the king accept wise counsel?
Trust is the most important component of the doctor-patient relationship. This relationship has evolved substantially from a sacred paternalistic bond to a very prejudiced, consumeristic link. Changes in legal systems have brought medicine into the purview of consumer litigation and therefore the patient is the king akin to the consumer. In this short paper, the implications of the rights of the patient from a consumer point of view and the issues related to its use/misuse in daily interactions is discussed. How patients could potentially participate in decision making is stressed. At the same time, the fallout of their unnecessary intrusions into the doctor’s clinical expertise and advisory capabilities needs to be recognised and tactfully countered to build and maintain trust in the doctor-patient relationship.
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