Ethics doctor patient dating

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 should recognise the influence they have had on patients and that a power imbalance could continue long after the professional relationship has ended.

Good medical practice involves ‘never using your professional relationship to establish or pursue a sexual, exploitative or other inappropriate relationship with anybody under your care.

This includes those close to the patient such as their carer, guardian or spouse or the parent of a child patient.

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.

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