The doctor-patient relationship has a lot in common with the parent-child relationship. Doctors, like parents, have the knowledge and power; while patients, like children, trust that their doctors will do what is best for them.
To carry the analogy further, good doctors, like good parents will set boundaries - but within these limits, they will allow their patients a lot of freedom to choose what is right for themselves ! This is an approach which I find very effective. I allow my patients a lot of flexibility ; and do my best to accommodate their requests, even when I may not agree with them. I try to be non-judgmental and provide guidance and advise. However, if they make requests which I feel will harm their interests, I do put my foot down and tell them I cannot comply - after giving them my reasons for my decision.
Most patients are quite happy to be treated as intelligent adults - which is the way all good parents treat their children !