The physician–patient relationship arises from state statutes and common law rules and is the model for the legal rules governing the relationship between other medical care practitioners and patients. The courts recognize some form of special relationship between midlevel practitioners and patients, and even between hospitals and patients, but the legal dimensions of these relationships are usually less extensive than those of the physician–patient relationship. The doctrine of informed consent and the patient’s rights movement have increased the rights of patients in the practitioner–patient relationship. At the same time, the special nature of the relationship is under pressure from medical businesses and third-party payers who seek to influence the decisions of medical care practitioners.