Viktor Emil von Gebsattel on the doctor-patient relationship

J V M Welie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article provides a summary overview of the ideas on medical anthropology and anthropological medicine of the German philosopher-psychiatrist Viktor Emil von Gebsattel (1883-1974), and discusses in more detail his views on the doctor-patient relationship. It is argued that Von Gebsattel's warning against a dehumanization of medicine when the "person" of both patient and physician are not explicitly present in their relationship remains valid notwithstanding the modern emphasis on respect for patient (and provider) autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-72
Number of pages32
JournalTheoretical Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropology/history
  • Germany
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • National Socialism
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Personhood
  • Philosophy, Medical/history
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Professional Misconduct
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Trust

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