Power, Trust, and Risk: Some Reflections on an Absent Issue


In modern discussions among health professionals there is a strange lack of discussions of power. This is most notably true for the discussions about proper physician–patient relations and the discussions about trust. This article explores some of the consequences of this absence. It is argued that the absence of the issue of power hampers a serious and open moral discussion of important institutional forms in the health care system. It is also argued that some of the proposals for how to organize physician–patient interaction are rather unrealistic, mainly because the issue of power is neglected. Finally, the article develops some ideas about how power ought to be approached in modern health care.