Doctor dating a patient ethics

Nor is love in the supermarket based upon a fiduciary relationship (see later discussion).

In addition, ‘love transference' can be extremely capricious, often hiding a destructive hate transference that frighteningly erupts and engulfs the therapist and patient.

personality disordered doctors), this group is very unlikely to re-offend with appropriate treatment.

Therefore, unmet emotional needs of the doctor, overidentification with the patient and particularly intimate areas of medicine associated with long-term professional relationships with patients can all potentially enhance the strength of the transference–counter-transference relationship between doctor and patient.

Two years after the zero tolerance policy was adopted, the New Zealand Medical Council released a further policy statement in which it stated that whilst complaints regarding sexual relations with former patients will be considered individually, it will be presumed to be unethical if the “doctor–patient relationship involved psychotherapy, or long-term counselling and support; the patient suffered a disorder likely to impair judgement or hinder decision-making; the doctor knew that the patient had been sexually abused in the past; [or] the patient was under the age of 20 when the doctor–patient relationship ended”.

This has been documented extensively in the literature, with no counteracting reports of successful relationships and non-abusive consequences being published.Doctors are more vulnerable to counter-transference when the doctor unconsciously or subconsciously overidentifies with the patient's situation, so much so that one author comments:“The power of the subconsciously driven countertransference to create rationalisations that the sexual relationship with the patient is ‘special and the exception' to the usual rules of professional conduct should never be underestimated.” Such ‘overidentifiers' are often ‘situational reactors' who are responding to particular triggers such as marital discord, loss of important relationships and a professional crisis in their own lives.Whilst situational reactors are certainly an at-risk group, unlike other categories of doctors who offend (e.g.Many boundaries exist in the doctor–patient relationship.These include boundaries of role, time, place and space, money, gifts and services, clothing, language and physical contact.

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