The professional-patient relationship refers to a bond of trust between the patient and the medical professional performing treatment. This relationship is influenced by a given country's medical institution, economy, society, and culture. As a developing country, medical insurance institutions in China are less developed than those of countries like Japan or some European countries. Moreover, the professional-patient relationship in China has been described in the media as "collapsing", "tense", "degrading", and "full of distrust". In cases of violence against doctors or nurses, it is common for the public to avoid blaming the suspect, and to assume that there must have been some kind of medical mistake by the victim, leading to the incident. However, most cases of fatal violence against medical workers have been caused by the attacker's mental illness or lack of legal and medical knowledge.
Thus, the professional-patient relationship in China could be improved. From a historical perspective, the characterization of the current situation as "collapsing" or "degrading" is not an appropriate expression. In the current study, we examined this question by analyzing the four types of professional-patient relationship first proposed by Robert M. Veatch, and to investigate which model is most suitable in contemporary Chinese society, based on China's historical background.