A key aspect of the classic doctor-patient relationship is the idea that doctors exert a professional authority through medical expertise while also taking care of the patient. Some professional organizations have held that “no third parties” should come between doctor and patient, be it governments or corporations. The sanctity of medical authority has also met resistance, and doctors are often said to face more demanding patients today with their own information about diagnoses. This article concerns how the medical profession reacts faced with challenged authority. Do they seek to reestablish a classic authority position or develop an alternative relationship with citizens? The analysis compares approximately 1.000 editorials in American, British and Danish medical journals from 1950 to the present. The analysis shows that all medical professions see their authority challenged by third parties, but some react defensively while others try to rethink the authority relation between professionals and citizens.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).