The doctor has stepped down from his pedestal, or – to put it differently has been forced to step down. For a patient there should no longer be any objection to his having a voice in deciding about an examination or a treatment that has to be performed.
On the other side it seems that society in general is becoming more and more dependent on physicians. As a result of their abilities concerning health and disease they sometimes get an influence in areas that are in fact far out of their competence. This spread of medical influence is sometimes called ‘medicalization’.
Not so long ago medical possibilities were rather limited and easy to finance. It was very simple to avoid the making of choices. Nowadays – the financial means becoming the limiting factor – such evasion is not justifiable.
It is however sad that money should be the determining factor of decisions on medical matters. An open discussion on the way medical health care should undertaken can be hindered by this.
Do we really want that from the cradle to the grave, on the sporting field or in bed we are guarded by overcompetent doctors? Or do we want doctors who – after having given their advice – leave the major decisions to whom it concerns most: the patients themselves.