Participation, Laity and Competencies – the Perspective of the Doctor–Patient Collaboration Model

The doctor-patient relationship can be seen as one of the basic ideals of collaboration forms known in social history, spanning ages and cultures as well. In these forms of collaboration, such a practice related regulation of knowledge-ethics is connected to the expected professional competencies, which displays extremely high normativity. That is precisely because the professional-practical knowledge on health and disease, life and death has an eminent, and immediately existential meaning and significance. Thus, while studying this model of collaboration does have a philosophical–ethical relevance, it may also offer useful insights and lessons for social sciences. In modern medicine, the active participation of the patient is in fact a reflected manifestation of involvement in a multiply shared, and adequately communicated collaboration structure. Such participation has become one of the constitutive element of modern medicine (e.g. in preventive treatment). This relationship model off ers the opportunity to confirm an interpretation of participation, according to which professional competences are by no means the same as the full range of knowledge of a given field. Those professionally laic, active participants, who cognize and communicate their living contexts, together with their self-developed range of knowledge are getting more and more involved in the full range of knowledge and most practices of specific fields of expertise, such as bio-medicinal ethics. But in the self-developed range of knowledge it is the patient, the one who is laic from a professional point of view, who possess the priority competences of knowledge. In other words, we are witness to and also participants of the division and multiplication of forms of knowledge, competences and responsibilities.

Released: Replika 100, 43–48.