Doctor patient dating laws
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.Whereas many qualified their answers with caveats that they themselves would not engage in such a relationship and that "99.9% of the time" having a relationship with a patient is verboten, "there are weird instances in life when I can see this happening," wrote one general surgeon.To the doctor -- if the would-be paramour is a patient -- it's also unethical.But physician responses to Medscape's 2012 ethics survey clearly indicate that many physicians aren't willing to condemn every romance.However, even if you do not sue for malpractice, your doctor or therapist will still have to face a whole slew of legal issues.Romantic relationships with patients violate the ethical standards of most medical professions.
A physician is held to a standard of medical care defined by the accepted standards of practice in his or her area of practice.Some of the obligations of a physician's duty of due care include the obligation to fully inform the patient of his or her condition, to continue to provide for medical care once the physician-patient relationship has been established, to refer the patient to a specialist, if necessary, and to obtain the patient's informed consent to the medical treatment or operation. Confidentiality laws protect the physician-patient relationship and the patient's consent must be obtained before medical records may be released. When asked, "Is it ever acceptable to become involved a romantic or sexual relationship with a patient?" 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.