Doctor and patient dating

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Almost all civil societies of the world uphold that the first and foremost responsibility of a doctor is to the patient’s wellbeing.Dating or engaging in a sexual relationship with the patient thus becomes a highly sensitive issue in this case.

Try to be understanding that their plans will often change.

Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, said: "I don't see any problem with it if they are no longer their doctor.

"I think it was all a bit of an old fashioned idea quite honestly. "They are getting into the 21st century and it's a good updating." Some senior GPs, however, have previously warned that such relationships are always problematic.

The updated guidelines outlined in the doctors' handbook Good Medical Practice, and which come into force next month, state: "If you are considering whether to pursue a personal relationship with a former patient, you must use your professional judgment.

"Although it would not be possible to specify a length of time after which it is acceptable to pursue a relationship with a former patient, it is reasonable to expect that the more recently a professional relationship ended the less likely it is to be appropriate to begin a personal relationship with the patient." Patient groups welcomed the change, saying it was about time the watchdog moved into "the 21st century".

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