Dating a patient ethics
Doctors practicing family medicine in small communities and villages are likely to have treated almost the entire population some time or other in the past in their professional capacity – this would make it well nigh for a single doctor to find a partner in the village since practically everyone is a former patient.And yet certain precautions must be maintained, warn most medical bodies.One reminded me of Dexter, another a surgeon who reminded me of the doctor with the drug problem from House, the other the S&M dentist from Little Shop of Horrors, the other a huge guy with dirty fingernails who was tall and strong like Shreck with a Jekyll and Hyde personality. This made me so uncomfortable I never want to see a male Dr. I'm so creeped out here I am discriminating on straight male doctors! We kind of share a language, so I did my best to play dumb.The worst thing about it is one just happened to me recently. The biggest red flag was the Dr did his best to imply he would "barter for services".On the face of it, a romantic relationship between a doctor and a former patient should pose no objection.According to the American Medical Association policy, "At a minimum, a physician's ethical duties include terminating the physician-patient relationship before initiating a dating, romantic, or sexual relationship with a patient." In 2006, a new draft of the General Medical Council - the body that regulates doctors in UK- maintained that though doctors should not use their professional position to pursue relationships, it acknowledged that there might circumstances when dating an ex-patient could be permissible - something not covered by the previous 2001 guidelines2.Almost all developed societies prohibit any romantic or sexual relationship between a doctor and a current patient.
In the process the patient may suffer and his/her well-being compromised which runs against all principles of medical ethics.Next time I will have my phone on record like the psycho chick from Gone Girl.However it's not all about me it's about you.Even when a doctor is no longer seeing someone as a patient but as a partner, he/she will continue to have access to the individual’s medical records and medical history.In case the romantic relationship ends acrimoniously, the physical goaded by negative feelings may compromise the former patient’s medical records thus breaching the important codes of confidentiality and objectivity.
Likewise the British Medical Association advises: "As a general principle, sexual relationships or emotional dependence between doctors and their patients or the close relatives of patients must be discouraged." It further goes on to say that “Doctors who discover that a person with whom they are developing a personal or sexual relationship is also their patient should immediately cease the relationship or take reasonable steps to ensure that medical care is provided by another practitioner."2 There are several important reasons why doctor-patient dating or a romantic relationship is discouraged in most societies.