Dating patient ethics
Secondly, three aspects of the doctor–patient relationship are explored: the general characteristics which promote health care; the importance of trust and the fiduciary relationship; and the role of power and authority in the relationship.Thirdly, a discussion of the role of autonomous choice and consent is presented.The relationship is one that is built in terms of mutual respect, knowledge, trust.Additionally, the doctor and patient's values and perspectives about disease, life, and time available play a role in building up this relationship.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’.The doctor–patient relationship forms one of the foundations of contemporary medical ethics.
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”.The AMA notes that the prior doctor/patient relationship may unduly influence the patient and that such a relationship is unethical if the doctor "uses or exploits trust, knowledge, emotions or influence derived from the previous professional relationship." Ethicists, such as Dr.Richard Martinez, director of forensic psychiatry services at Denver Health Medical Center and the author of several articles on ethical decision-making and the patient/physician relationship, says the AMA was wise to leave a little wiggle room in its opinion. "Every ethical dilemma has to be evaluated and considered on a case-by-case basis." That simple "it's complicated" answer captures the spirit of nearly one third of the respondents' remarks.A strong relationship between the doctor and patient will lead to frequent, quality information about the patient's disease.
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" more than two thirds (68%) of the 24,000 doctors who responded resoundingly say "no." In contrast, nearly one third are more nuanced in their view.