Power, right, and truth: Foucault's triangle as a model for clinical power

Nurs Sci Q. 2010 Jan;23(1):8-12. doi: 10.1177/0894318409353811.


Power has historically been viewed from a position of dominance and authority. Using this lens leads one to a destiny wherein one individual or society has power over another. The power over approach is a hierarchical view, one that leads to someone else being oppressed, and one wherein the prevailing hegemony continues. If a different lens is used, wherein power does not reside within a position, but rather, within a person and within a relationship bounded by knowledge, a new destiny of power to and power of is created. These two approaches to power are examined and clinical power is offered as a lens that culminates in the understanding of power as a right and as truth imbedded with awareness and relationships.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nurse's Role / history
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Patient Participation / history*
  • Patient Rights / history*
  • Philosophy, Nursing / history*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Truth Disclosure

Personal name as subject

  • Michael Foucault