Dating a patient ethics Anal intercourse chat rooms
The guidance, issued yesterday, tells doctors they still cannot initiate 'sexual' or 'improper' relationships with current patients, but says they can date former patients, as long as they give "careful consideration" to certain factors.
The updated guidelines outlined in the doctors' handbook Good Medical Practice, and which come into force next month, state: "If you are considering whether to pursue a personal relationship with a former patient, you must use your professional judgment.
"I think it was all a bit of an old fashioned idea quite honestly. "They are getting into the 21st century and it's a good updating." Some senior GPs, however, have previously warned that such relationships are always problematic.
Dr Surendra Kumar, a GP who practises in Widnes, Cheshire, said: "Consider the powers of the doctor.
It is vital proper boundaries are maintained in relationships between doctors and patients." However, Dr Tony Grewal, a senior GP who practises in West London, said the watchdog "should not limit the capacity of two consenting adults to explore a relationship".
The default medical practice for showing respect to patients and their families is for the doctor to be truthful in informing the patient of their health and to be direct in asking for the patient's consent before giving treatment.
This means the doctor does not recommend what the patient should do, rather the patient's autonomy is respected and they choose what medical treatment they want to have done.
A practice which is an alternative to this is for the doctor to make a person's health decisions without considering that person's treatment goals or having that person's input into the decision-making process is grossly unethical and against the idea of personal autonomy and freedom.
For most physicians, the establishment of good rapport with a patient is important.
Some medical specialties, such as psychiatry and family medicine, emphasize the physician–patient relationship more than others, such as pathology or radiology, which have very little contact with patients.