The new subjective medicine: taking the patient's point of view on health care and health
Calls to respect patient autonomy and produce patient-centered outcomes have recently brought the patient's point of view back into the center of clinical medicine. Bioethics has argued that patient values must be respected in health care decisions. But it has generally not questioned medicine's goals, including its definition of health. For bioethics, health has remained an objective biological fact. However, pressures to improve the cost-effectiveness of medical care have increased interest in the subjective health and quality of life of patients. Perceived health, health-related quality of life, and health-state utilities bring health assessment progressively closer to the patient's perspective. Now even death's harm to patients is qualified by the value patients place on their health state. Medicine's epidemiological transition from acute to chronic disease is thus prompting an epistemological transition from primarily objective to primarily subjective evidence of health and health care effectiveness. Now some of the most important patient outcomes, like patient choices before them, are valid because they are subjective. Pathophysiology is appropriately becoming a means to produce health as it is defined from the patient's point of view. The physicians' job description will be changed to focus on patients' lives rather than patients' bodies. Definitive evaluations of medical effectiveness will occur within patients' lives rather than within doctors' hospitals. This further incorporation of patient subjectivity should carry us well beyond informed consent and the other protections for patient autonomy bequeathed to us by bioethics.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 7 (April)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:7:p:1595-1604. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.