Volume 2, Issue 1, 2002
Knowing and Deciding
From Paternalism to Managerialism
A Healing Shift?
Traditionally, medical professionals have taken a paternalistic stance towards their patients and have relied on a traditional approach to medical ethics. In recent years, in Britain, however, a new 'managerialism' has developed in the National Health Service (the NHS). This stresses consumerism and greater patient choice and is changing the relationship between doctors and patients. This paper draws out the implications for patients. It describes the ethical characteristics of the two conflicting approaches and argues the need to stress again the view of the patient as an individual person.