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Doctors as Advocates, Lawyers as Healers

69 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2008  

Charity Scott

Georgia State University - College of Law

Date Written: October, 20 2008


This essay explores some counterintuitive propositions to see what they may add to our understanding of the role of doctors and lawyers in health care conflict resolution. The essay first explains what is meant by a fiduciary relationship. It then discusses how taking this fiduciary concept seriously may unsettle part of our conventional views of doctors as healers and lawyers as advocates. Indeed, taking the fiduciary concept seriously may turn these views on their heads. Finally, this essay explores whether viewing doctors as advocates and lawyers as healers, consistent with our core understandings of the professional and ethical responsibilities of practitioners in each profession, might improve the prospects for conflict resolution in health care.

Keywords: conflict resolution, doctors, health law, fiduciaries, professional responsibility, legal ethics, medical ethics

JEL Classification: K00, K39, K30

Suggested Citation

Scott, Charity, Doctors as Advocates, Lawyers as Healers (October, 20 2008). Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-08; Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, Vol. 29, 2008. Available at SSRN:

Charity Scott (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
404-651-2083 (Phone)
404-651-2092 (Fax)

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