, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 423–432 | Cite as

Arguing ‘for’ the Patient: Informed Consent and Strategic Maneuvering in Doctor–Patient Interaction

  • Peter J. SchulzEmail author
  • Sara Rubinelli


As a way to advance integration between traditional readings of the medical encounter and argumentation theory, this article conceptualizes the doctor–patient interaction as a form of info-suasive dialogue. Firstly, the article explores the relevance of argumentation in the medical encounter in connection with the process of informed consent. Secondly, it discloses the risks inherent to a lack of reconciliation of the dialectical and rhetorical components in the delivery of the doctor’s advice, as especially resulting from the less than ideal conditions of the internal states of the doctor and the patient, and the lack of symmetry in their status.


Medical encounter Info-suasive dialogue Informed consent Strategic maneuvering Pragma-dialectical rules of critical discussion 



We wish to thank Bart Garssen for his acute remarks on the earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Communication & HealthUniversity of Lugano (CH)LuganoSwitzerland

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