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The idea that there is a "right thing" to do, a correct way to proceed, implies absolutism, an unpopular idea in liberal times. Medical practice is often said to be an art as much as a science, but liberality seems to be losing ground as awareness of evidence based medicine increases. That, at least, is the idea. In reality, what goes on in clinics and consulting rooms is a product not only of the evidence (not to mention prejudices) learnt at medical school and through assiduous continuing professional development but also of the personalities, communication skills, and beliefs of health care worker and patient.


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