Doctor patient dating laws

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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.Once the physician-patient has been established, it continues until it is ended by the consent of the parties or revoked by the dismissal of the physician, or until the physician's services are no longer needed. Without proper notice of withdrawal, affording the patient ample opportunity to seek alternative care, the physician's termination of services to the patient could be held to be an abandonment, subjecting the physician to the charge of negligence and liability to the patient for any damages proximately caused by such negligence. However, even if you do not sue for malpractice, your doctor or therapist will still have to face a whole slew of legal issues.

But physician responses to Medscape's 2012 ethics survey clearly indicate that many physicians aren't willing to condemn every romance.

It is the doctor or therapist’s responsibility and duty to ensure that his or her relationship with the patient remain as professional as possible.

Generally yes, any sexual conduct with a patient is considered malpractice, whether or not the patient consented to the conduct. There is no "true love" exception for the malpractice of engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient.

Even if a former doctor cannot have his or her medical license revoked for having a relationship with a former patient, civil lawsuits for exploitation and emotional distress can still be raised.

Some states will enforce promises to not sue for malpractice.

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