Government of the public: physician-patient relationship within medical expert advice for social security

Maria da Penha Pereira de Melo About the author

This article presents and discusses results from qualitative research on the physician-patient relationship within medical expert advice for the Brazilian social security system. The study evaluated a sample (n = 79) of records at the Social Security Ombudsman’s Office, containing complaints about medical expert advisory work. The physician-patient relationship within the field of social security comprises adjustment to standards that turns the physician-patient therapeutic space into an instrument to put controls for accessing disability benefits into operation. Dysfunctions at this interface might result from the way in which the limits are implemented. Social security was taken to be biopolitics and medical expert activity to be an expression of biopower, in terms of the political philosophy of Michel Foucault. Discussing social security means clarifying its security assumptions and not ignoring the instrumental nature engendered by social security medical practices.

Bioethics; Biopolitics; Social Security; Forensic Medicine; Physician-patient relations


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