News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Doctors are warned against sex with former patients

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 26 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:876
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    Doctors should think carefully before becoming sexually involved with a former patient, the General Medical Council warns in its updated guidance on acceptable professional practice.

    Until now relationships with former patients have not been explicitly proscribed. But supplementary guidance on maintaining boundaries—published alongside the latest guidance on appropriate professional behaviour—says that pursuing a sexual relationship with any former patient will “usually be inappropriate, regardless of the length of time since the therapeutic relationship ended.”

    The warning comes because “good medical practice” encourages doctors to work in partnership with patients, fostering relationships that are based on openness, trust, and good communications.

    The GMC's president, Graeme Catto, acknowledged that this …

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