Physicians often chose their profession because of their sentiment of vocation. They act under the premises of “salus aegroti suprema lex” and accordingly their tendency is to take medical decisions for the patient often functioning as a guardian for the patient.
Legal professionals have a different notion of the relation between physicians and patients. Legal thinking is more in terms of mutual contractual obligations and, in particular in European and US legal traditions, legal thinking is strongly influenced by the constitutional guarantees and human rights that are granted to the individual.
In relation to health care and the relation between physician and patient, the most important human rights are the right of self-determination of the individual and the right of bodily integrity.
New technologies like the internet, CD, DVD or more generally multi media applications have revolutionized the way of information retrieval in the general population. An extensive number of health-related web-sites also indicate that the internet is a major source of information retrieval for the general public but also for patients.