Sexual boundaries are an important component of wider professional boundaries.
In order to maintain appropriate boundaries, a doctor should not engage in sexual activity with a current patient (regardless of whether or not the patient has consented), make sexual remarks, touch patients in a sexual way, or engage in sexual behaviour in front of a patient.3.
It seems to me that consent in these circumstances cannot be an answer to an allegation of misconduct.” 55 There are a number of relevant Australian cases concerning relationships between medical practitioners and former patients.
The medical profession does not have a firm rule prohibiting all sexual relationships with former patients, nor does it have anything like the inflexible two-year rule now applicable to psychologists.
I know of no other profession that has such a rule, and I suspect that only the priesthood has a stricter rule.
Before conducting an examination, particularly an intimate examination, the doctor should ensure the patient has given consent.…In my opinion to confine the concept of exploitation to duress, manipulation, coercion or pressure would be to abrogate the therapist’s responsibility to make a professional decision to refrain from submitting to the wishes of the client or even a former client.A member of a profession who for purely personal reasons accedes to a client’s request, and thereby obtains a personal benefit, knowing that to do so will jeopardise the client’s objectively and professionally ascertained interests, exploits the professional relationship, and therefore exploits the client: on this hypothesis, the opportunity to obtain the personal benefit arises from the fact of the professional relationship.Trust is therefore essential: the GMC describes it as the foundation of the doctor-patient partnership.“Patients should be able to trust that their doctor will behave professionally towards them during consultations and not see them as a potential sexual partner,” it says.