Can doctors dating patients australia

"Doctors who discover that a person with whom they are developing a personal or sexual relationship is also their patient should immediately cease the relationship or take reasonable steps to ensure that medical care is provided by another practitioner," it says.The BMA spokeswoman added: "We would be very concerned if the GMC ruled out completely any relationship between a doctor and an ex-patient. The General Medical Council, the body that regulates doctors, wants to gauge public opinion before updating its advice to doctors.Currently, it strongly advises doctors against dating patients.Others also questioned whether a power imbalance existed between doctors and patients nowadays.

"A friend of mine has a relationship with somebody who was once her doctor and nobody questions this, neither his medical colleagues or any of our friends." A GP working in the Shetland Islands pointed out that, for some people, the guidance might be completely impractical.

The British Medical Association advises: "As a general principle, sexual relationships or emotional dependence between doctors and their patients or the close relatives of patients must be discouraged." The BMA says the fact that doctors have access to past health information about their patients and see them when they are feeling ill and vulnerable puts patients at a disadvantage.

"Intimate personal relationships can arise in good faith when doctors and patients initially meet in a purely social setting but, even so, the doctor can be very vulnerable to complaint if the relationship ends acrimoniously.

Stating that pursuing a sexual relationship would "usually" be inappropriate might be capable of deliberate misinterpretation by the disreputable, said one respondent. Others suggested a precise waiting or cooling-off period could be recommended in the guideline to ensure a suitable gap between the end of the professional relationship and the beginning of a personal relationship.

Good faith The Royal College of General Practitioners said some practical interpretation might be needed.

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