Ghabbour’s case comes as the provincial government is looking to strengthen the law around sexual abuse and physician-patient relationships in the wake of a Star investigation.
Under proposed legislation, known as Bill 87, announced last year a person is still considered a “patient” for the purpose of the new rules for one year after they stop seeing the physician.
Having healthy relationships is a key factor in maintaining your health and wellbeing and this includes having good professional relationships with your patients.
But be careful that you don’t cross those professional boundaries into more dangerous territory.
Should a psychiatrist who began dating his patient shortly after they stopped seeing each other professionally be allowed to keep his licence?Social networks, blogs, and other forms of communication online also create new challenges to the patient-physician relationship.Physicians should weigh a number of considerations when maintaining a presence online: (a) Physicians should be cognizant of standards of patient privacy and confidentiality that must be maintained in all environments, including online, and must refrain from posting identifiable patient information online.The underlying challenge: a doctor is a fiduciary for the patient, bound to act solely for the patient’s good (because the patient is inherently in a vulnerable state); and, in a romantic relationship there should be equality between the parties choosing to be in that relationship.AMA Opinion 8.14, which is given weight by state boards and by courts, holds that sexual contact between a doctor and a patient that is concurrent with the doctor-patient relationship constitutes sexual misconduct per se.