My paper is related to applied ethics with special reference to the ethics of communication. The task of this discipline is to defend otherness in the various contexts where it exists. The departure point for my paper is the observation that the physician–patient relationship, instead of being the place of therapeutic alliance, is increasingly becoming a source of conflict, as is shown by the statistics on legal actions between doctors and patients, lack of communication skills identified amongst patients, and cases of burnout amongst doctors. This situation calls on ethics to take two steps simultaneously. Firstly, it must not forego the duty of indicating the rules. Secondly, it must be capable of suggesting directions where those same rules can be applied. Succeeding in this task is decisive not only in domains where the ethical approach may be welcomed, but also for ethics as such, otherwise destined to be a disembodied specialization.
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