Doctor dating patient illegal
Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, said: "I don't see any problem with it if they are no longer their doctor."I think it was all a bit of an old fashioned idea quite honestly. "They are getting into the 21st century and it's a good updating." Some senior GPs, however, have previously warned that such relationships are always problematic.
A member of a profession who for purely personal reasons accedes to a client’s request, and thereby obtains a personal benefit, knowing that to do so will jeopardise the client’s objectively and professionally ascertained interests, exploits the professional relationship, and therefore exploits the client: on this hypothesis, the opportunity to obtain the personal benefit arises from the fact of the professional relationship.The updated guidelines outlined in the doctors' handbook Good Medical Practice, and which come into force next month, state: "If you are considering whether to pursue a personal relationship with a former patient, you must use your professional judgment."Although it would not be possible to specify a length of time after which it is acceptable to pursue a relationship with a former patient, it is reasonable to expect that the more recently a professional relationship ended the less likely it is to be appropriate to begin a personal relationship with the patient." Patient groups welcomed the change, saying it was about time the watchdog moved into "the 21st century".It seems to me that consent in these circumstances cannot be an answer to an allegation of misconduct.” 55 There are a number of relevant Australian cases concerning relationships between medical practitioners and former patients.The medical profession does not have a firm rule prohibiting all sexual relationships with former patients, nor does it have anything like the inflexible two-year rule now applicable to psychologists.I know of no other profession that has such a rule, and I suspect that only the priesthood has a stricter rule.
56 In  2 Qd R 154 at 162, Dowsett J, constituting Queensland’s Medical Assessment Tribunal, referred to a number of factors relevant to the evaluation of impropriety when there is a complaint about a sexual relationship between a doctor and a patient.
"Any other basis for a relationship is flawed and needs to be criticised and resisted most vehemently.
The guidance, issued yesterday, tells doctors they cannot initiate ‘sexual’ or ‘improper’ relationships with current patients.
But it tells them they can date former patients, as long as they give ‘careful consideration’ to certain factors.‘Although it would not be possible to specify a length of time after which it is acceptable to pursue a relationship with a former patient, it is reasonable to expect that the more recently a professional relationship ended the less likely it is to be appropriate to begin a personal relationship with the patient.’ Doctors should only start a relationship with a former patient if they have used their 'professional judgement' to decide if it is appropriate and are still banned from 'improper' relationships with current patients (file picture) Some senior GPs, however, have previously warned that such relationships are always ‘flawed’.
Dr Surendra Kumar, a GP who practises in Widnes, Cheshire, said: ‘Consider the powers of the doctor.
Why then does the AMA absolutely prohibit sexual relationships with consenting adult patients?