Ethics of dating a former patient

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Even when a nurse provides care to the same patient over several months or years, as in a home care or long-term care setting, the nurse-patient relationship is structured.The relationship ends when the therapeutic relationship ends.He’s a 45-year-old personal injury attorney, good-looking, with a great sense of humor.In the last 2 days, he has made it clear he’s attracted to me—and the feeling is mutual.The Hippocratic Oath states that physicians: Sexual abuse of patients by physicians was identified as a significant problem in 1991, when the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario released several reports from its Task Force on patient sexual abuse.

Detaching from Dan If you’re in doubt as to how to interpret nursing law, ethics, and professional practice standards, consult a legal expert.

It sets out the College’s expectations of a physician’s behaviour within the physician-patient relationship, after the physician-patient relationship ends, and with respect to persons closely associated with patients.

Sexual relations between physicians and patients have long been considered to be unethical.

In the meantime, the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics for Nurses requires that you promptly remove yourself from serving as Dan’s nurse.

Speak with your nurse-manager about the situation and ask that Dan’s care be transferred to another nurse.

Review your state nurse practice act and board of nursing regulations to determine if these require you to establish a cooling-off period—a defined interval after the professional relationship ends—before you can initiate a personal or business relationship with a patient.

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