, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 433-435,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 Apr 2008

Comments on ‘Arguing ‘for’ the Patient. Informed Consent and Strategic Maneuvering in Doctor–Patient Interaction’

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Schulz and Rubinelli’s project ‘Informed consent and strategic maneuvering in doctor–patient interaction’ provides an excellent opportunity for studying argumentation in a specific institutional context because a medical consultation is a special communicative activity type that may involve argumentative discussion. Before engaging in empirical research regarding such a consultation it is necessary to make a conceptional analysis of this type of doctor–patient interaction. One first needs to give a general characterization of the type of interaction concerned: what is the structure of the interaction in a doctor–patient consultation in terms of speech acts, role taking and time constraints? For doing so a better understanding is required of the type of difference of opinion that will be at issue in such a consultation. What type of standpoint initiates the discussion? Which parts can be distinguished in the activity type of medical consultation and which of them are typically or potent