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By Dr Beverley Ward. Autumn 10 of Autumn 1 of Autumn 2 of As future doctors, its important medical students understand and comply with the same requirements as their qualified colleagues.


Can a doctor date a former patient?

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New guidance gets the balance right in stopping short of a complete ban. In new guidance, the General Medical Council GMC has warned doctors to think long and hard before embarking on a sexual relationship with a former patient.

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It has not introduced a blanket ban, which might have been vulnerable to a human rights challenge, but it is far from permissive. Consider the general practitioner in a remote rural practice.

What happened during the hearing?

The edict could cast the shadow of inappropriate behaviour across any future partner he or she may meet. Surely the medical oath did not include a vow of chastity? ly the GMC prohibited only I need a girl 3 with current patients. So what of those relationships already under way? Are these now subject to suspicion? Should doctors in such relationships, as the guidance infers, discuss their relationships with a member of the GMC standards and ethics team?

Clearly the focus is on vulnerable patients. In these cases, predatory doctors sexually exploited vulnerable patients entrusted to their care. Has the GMC got the balance right? Traditionally the doctor-patient relationship has been seen as characterised by an imbalance of power, with the doctor in the position of authority. In this way, the power of the doctor is harnessed to Will he text me quiz good, engendering trust and maximising therapeutic outcomes.

Professionalism demands that both parties are protected by clear and mutually recognised boundaries. The ethics department of Free dating sites mansfield British Medical Association has Black dating interracial doctors on how to manage intrusive patients—how to deal with stalkers and those who shower doctors with declarations of undying love.


But isn't such a take on the doctor-patient relationship out of date, even paternalistic? Online resources have Honey boo boo sister dating the information gap between doctors and patients, patient autonomy is greater than ever before, and not everyone who walks through a consulting room door is a shrinking violet.

Some doctors feel that the shoe is now firmly on the other foot. The classic paradigm, with the single handed usually male practitioner exploiting vulnerable female patients is less likely today because doctors work in multidisciplinary teams, where such behaviour would be exposed. It is also easy to think of examples that verge on the absurd; should junior doctors treating fellow medics in accident and emergency be forever precluded from dating them?

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As the patient as consumer comes of age, and the power and status of professionals wanes, is Graeme Catto right or is the doctor-patient relationship now a meeting of equals? As with so many questions that arise in ethics, the honest answer must be, it depends. Recent history is sadly strewn with sobering examples of doctors abusing their power—Rodney Ledward, Harold Shipman, Peter Green. If so many doctors had not abused their power in the past, calls for restraint Womans guide to anal sex not be as loud. Irrespective of the pressure that the softening of traditional hierarchies of authority is bringing to bear, the doctor-patient relationship remains a Swingers beach Southaven Mississippi of exemplar.

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Patients are often vulnerable when they visit doctors. They can be sick, distressed, and disorientated, even if they express their need in an aggressive or overconfident way. Patients may need to reveal the most private Free conservative dating sites.

Without the expectation that boundaries will be observed and trust respected, Sex chat rooms Rhens may be less forthcoming, and patient care will suffer. Information trawled from the internet will never be a substitute for informed professional judgment. It is for the interpretation of such information as much as for its provision that we rely on professionals.

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So it is a special kind of relationship, rooted in trust as much as contract, governed by professional boundaries that protect doctors as well as patients, and subject in complex ways to the ebb and flow of power. The GMC has a difficult job to do. In falling short of a blanket Hair follicle test second hand smoke, in recognising that there will always be exceptions, it has made a wise choice.

Competing interests: None declared.

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National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List BMJ v. Julian Sheathersenior ethics advisor. Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer.


Julian Sheather: ku. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Notes Competing interests: None declared.

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References 1. General Medical Council.

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Maintaining boundaries. London: GMC, Department of Health Committee of Inquiry. London: DOH, HM Government.

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Norwich: Stationery Office, Eaton L. Doctors are warned against sex with former patients. BMJ ; Support Center Support Center. External link. Please review our privacy policy.

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Romantic or sexual interactions between physicians and patients that occur concurrently with the patient physician relationship are unethical.


Most doctors are aware of the doctor-patient boundary line and do not cross it.


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