Our medicine displays what appears to be a strange paradox. On the one hand, it has an ostensibly patient-centred ethic. On the other hand, it abuses the patient even and mostly when it follows this ethic to the letter.

This chapter attempts to explain away the perplexity. It raises a strong methodological suspicion that the ethic is, as a matter of fact, a capitalist ethic, namely an ethic of, by, and for a capitalist medicine. A capitalist medicine is a profit-centred medicine. It is not a patient-centred medicine, nor can it have a patient-centred ethic. That said, it is bound to appear as if it were patient-centred and give rise to an ethic that would affirm this false appearance.

The proposed outlook is both counterintuitive and disturbing. However, it pledges to be more sober and, as far as the patient and the doctor are concerned, also more sympathetic and more empowering than any approach suggesting that an ethical medicine is necessarily a humanist medicine, or that a medicine that does not put the human at the centre can have a humanist ethic.