Taking care of the beloved patient

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


While the management of treating “hateful” patients has been the subject of considerable commentary, far less attention has been paid to the ethical challenges involved in the treatment of “beloved” patients. This essay offers a non-exhaustive taxonomy of “beloved” patients that includes relatable patients, inspiring patients, empathy-inducing patients, and joyful patients, and then discusses the potential pitfalls involved in the optimal care of each group. By drawing attention to these often overlooked and unwitting risks, the hope is to mitigate both their direct impact upon individual “beloved” patients and their residual impact upon those patients who are not viewed as “beloved” by their providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Ethics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Hateful patients
  • beloved patients
  • boundaries
  • boundary crossings
  • profession


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