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The sick role

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Traditionally, the patient adopts the sick role and hands over partial or complete responsibility for his well-being to the doctor. This role allows the patient to drop out of other roles, such as that of breadwinner, and be treated in a dependent, cossetted way. The sick role also requires the patient to seek recovery; otherwise social disapproval and withdrawal of privileges may follow.

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