Rules on doctors dating patients

08-Jan-2017 03:38

Doctors' lives are highly stressful, so you may have to help them unwind at the end of the day. A relationship with a doctor is likely to look very different from other types of romantic relationships.

The General Medical Council, the body that regulates doctors, wants to gauge public opinion before updating its advice to doctors.

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The new draft maintains that doctors should not use their professional position to pursue relationships, but acknowledges that there might times when dating an ex-patient is permissible - something not covered by the 2001 guidelines.

To find the page or information you are looking for, please: • Check the web address to make sure it is correct. If you need more help, please contact an NCMIC representative.

Until now, the General Medical Council has discouraged doctors from having relationships with former patients deemed vulnerable at the time they were being treated, and it continues to ban them with current patients.

The quality of the patient–physician relationship is important to both parties.

The relationship is one that is built in terms of mutual respect, knowledge, trust.

The draft advises: "If exceptional circumstances arise in which social contact with a former patient leads to the possibility of a sexual relationship beginning, you must give careful consideration to the nature and circumstances of the relationship." Doctors should ask themselves whether they and the ex-patient may be continuing a relationship based on emotional dependency, reflecting the imbalance of the previous professional relationship.

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