CHH Seminar June 16th with Stephen Buetow: How does person-centred medicine differ from patient-centred medicine?

Tuesday 16 June 2015, 6pm in VWB 6.01, Virginia Woolf Building, 22 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6L1

How does person-centred medicine differ from patient-centred medicine?

Medicine faces a crisis of depersonalization, scientism and unsustainable costs, which cannot be solved by subprime national initiatives to produce, from evidence, medicine centred on patients. Raising concerns about a patient-centred medical ethics of principle-governed action for patient welfare and population health, this seminar will suggest a need instead for person-centred medicine. Despite having received the imprimatur of international organizations including the World Health Organization, person-centred medicine (sometimes referred to as people-centred medicine) has yet to define itself clearly. I will suggest eight defining values of person-centred medicine, which distinguish this practice model conceptually from values of patient-centred medicine. I will suggest that the values of person-centred medicine link to virtues that dispose patients and physicians, as moral equals, to balance their welfare, by doing the right things for the right reasons, and flourish.


 Stephen Buetow is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care at New Zealand’s University of Auckland. A social scientist by background, he holds a Ph.D. from the Australian National University and worked as a Research Fellow at the United Kingdom’s National Primary Care Research and Development Centre. He has published two books and over 140 peer-reviewed Journal articles, most recently in the area of social theory and medicine. He is currently writing a book, Person-centred medicine: Balancing the Welfare of Physicians and Patients, for Routledge. Buetow is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice and European Journal for Person-Centered Healthcare. He directs a core, postgraduate research methods course at his University, has supervised nine PhD students to successful completion and has chaired numerous funding committees for the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

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