Ethics doctor patient dating
If there is a possibility that sexual boundaries could be breached, or that the doctor may not remain objective, the doctor should transfer the patient’s care to another doctor.This should be done sensitively so that a potentially vulnerable patient is not further harmed.It can cause profound psychological harm to patients and compromise their medical care.Good, clear communication is the most effective way to avoid misunderstandings in the doctor-patient relationship.It may be unethical and unprofessional for a doctor to engage in a sexual relationship with a former patient, if this breaches the trust the patient placed in the doctor.Doctors should recognise the influence they have had on patients and that a power imbalance could continue long after the professional relationship has ended.A doctor should consider carefully whether they could be exploiting the trust, knowledge and dependence that developed during the doctor-patient relationship before they decide whether to pursue or engage in a relationship with a former patient.When deciding whether a doctor used the doctor-patient relationship to engage in a sexual relationship with a former patient, the Board will consider a range of factors including: involved or interested in their healthcare.
Patients have a right to feel safe when they are consulting a doctor.
Good medical practice includes: Doctors are expected to act in their patient’s best interests and not use their position of power and trust to exploit patients physically, sexually, emotionally or psychologically.
Breaching sexual boundaries is always unethical and usually harmful for many reasons including: There is a wide range of behaviours that breach sexual boundaries, from making unnecessary comments about a patient’s body or clothing, to criminal behaviour such as sexual assault.
Doctors who breach these guidelines are placing their registration at risk and in some cases could be committing a criminal offence.
Trust in the relationship between doctors and patients is a cornerstone of good medical practice.