Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Patient choice in the NHS

Patient choice in the NHS: health professionals are not obliged to meet every patient wish

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 05 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5301
  1. Robert Dingwall, professor
  1. Department of Sociology and Criminology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
  1. robert.dingwall{at}

Kar expresses a dilemma that is well recognised, but often ducked, by medical sociologists: is genuine patient choice possible?1 In 1951 Talcott Parsons said that the “sick role” (a theory of the rights and responsibilities of those who are ill) attempted to resolve an inherent tension between the desires of those who were unwell …

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