Bioethical considerations on the doctor-indigenous patient relationship

Abstract The principle of autonomy was a significant bioethical achievement in terms of its positive impact on the physician-patient relationship. The search for balance in the paternalistic doctor and indigenous patient relationship is fundamental for the symmetrical maintenance of such relations. In this context, it is essential that the medical professional considers and accepts the existence of social and cultural diversity when planning therapeutic strategies that aim to ensure the autonomy of the patient, the family and community, thus guaranteeing a good quality of service and of life. The aim of this article is to characterize, from the perspective of bioethics, the challenge faced by the physician-indigenous patient relationship, indicate critical situations and suggest means for an ideally harmonious relationship between these cultures in the area of health.