The Evolution of the “Patient”: Shifts in Attitudes About Consent, Genetic Information, and Commercialization in Health Care

A momentous ideological change in the world of health care has accompanied the advent of managed care, third party payers, soaring costs, and sophisticated medical technology. The ideological change has facilitated a far-reaching transformation in the physician-patient relationship. A form of relationship grounded in hierarchy and trust has been replaced by one grounded in the presumption that physician and patient should relate to each other as autonomous individuals.

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