Doctor dating former patient

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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.

Among the strongest arguments against a current doctor-patient romantic relationship is the possibility of a physician’s professional judgement being compromised.

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And one of the most significant aspects of this code of ethics regulating the medical community is the relationship between a doctor and patient.Also if the relationship between a doctor and his/her now partner continues the emotional dependence of the earlier doctor-patient relationship, then even the current relationships is far from healthy and equal.There is little doubt that a relationship between a doctor and patient is fraught with complications.Indeed the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics on the Physician-Patient relationship states that “The relationship between patient and physician is based on trust and gives rise to physicians’ ethical obligations to place patients’ welfare above their own self-interest and above obligations to other groups, and to advocate for their patients’ welfare.”3However laws and ethics are as much subject to change as are social dynamics of which ultimately form a part.Thus in recent times there has been a debate whether doctors can date patients under special circumstances – like when the professional relationship between them has ceased.

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