American medical association doctors dating patients
Next week the association plans to discuss adding the guidelines at its annual conference in Chicago.
The report that accompanies the guidelines includes a number of recommendations to physicians who use telemedicine services: they should inform patients about the limitations of these services and encourage them to let their PCPs know about any online visits they've had.
I then told her that I was uncomfortable with her personal interest in me and that I thought it would be best if she saw one of my female partners in the future.
The following day, the patient sent a bouquet of flowers and a card to me at my office.
Our contemporary attitude toward such encounters is to label them, categorically, as "unprofessional conduct." Given that there is no surveillance of this behavior, physician-patient sex comes to the attention of regulatory agencies only when the patient complains. The nominal standard establishes a rule of "no overlap": a physician-patient relationship must not coexist with a romantic-sexual relationship.
The AMA says: "Sexual contact that occurs concurrent with the physician-patient relationship constitutes sexual misconduct.
Perhaps it would be too expensive or time-consuming to scrutinize the propriety of these relationships and the effectiveness of consent on a case-by-case basis.
Sexual or romantic interactions between physicians and patients detract from the goals of the physician-patient relationship, may exploit the vulnerability of the patient, may obscure the physician's objective judgment concerning the patient's health care, and ultimately may be detrimental to the patient's well-being....
Sexual or romantic relationships between a physician and a former patient may be unduly influenced by the previous physician-patient relationship.
A year ago the American Medical Association's ethics council almost took a vote to adopt a set of guidelines focused on ethical considerations related to the use of online or mobile visits between patients and physicians, but a physician from Texas helped convince the committee to rethink its plans and table the discussion until later that year.
Now, 12 months later, the guidelines appear to have changed little but remote visits has turned into one of the biggest trends in healthcare.