Jay Katz The Silent World Of Doctor And Silence Summary

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In his book The Silent World of Doctor and Patient, author Jay Katz describes the history of how physicians view the patient’s role in medical decision making. Particularly, within chapter one, “Physicians and Patients: A History of Silence,” Katz sheds light on the relationship between physicians and their patients and the scope of the physician’s authority. One passage that illuminates this relationship in a positive way is the section on ancient medicine. At one point Katz states that: Physicians of ancient Greece…viewed doctor and patient as united through philia, friendship, which made their objectives one and the same. The Sick man loves the physicians because he is sick, said Plato. Hippocrates in his famous passage declared, where…show more content…
First, Katz uses past tense not only because the two quotes he uses come from ancient Greek philosophers but also to show how different the relationship between the physician and patient used to be. The passage talks about a “friendship” existing between the physician and patient. Today, the relationship between the physician and patient would not be viewed as a friendship of any sort. Instead, it would be viewed as a relationship where both counterparts differ in their interests, a conflict of interest fueled by the medical field becoming business…show more content…
I argue that a physician who gets a patient to comply with treatment indirectly, by building a relationship with the patient offers a more humane and compassionate way to aid the sufferer than directly portraying his or her self as an authoritative figure to get the patient to comply. Another distinction I gather from reading the physician and patient relationship as a friendship rather than the physician being strictly an authoritative figure is that in an ideal friendship there is an active role in which both parties are listeners to the other’s concerns. A physician listening to their patient is more likely to pick up on little yet important points to help cure the patient than a physician that is more authoritative (who wants to do most of the

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