Chiropractors and dating patients

Good medical practice includes: Doctors are expected to act in their patient’s best interests and not use their position of power and trust to exploit patients physically, sexually, emotionally or psychologically.Breaching sexual boundaries is always unethical and usually harmful for many reasons including: There is a wide range of behaviours that breach sexual boundaries, from making unnecessary comments about a patient’s body or clothing, to criminal behaviour such as sexual assault.Unwarranted physical examinations or inappropriate touching during a consultation and examination may constitute sexual assault. Doctors are responsible for establishing and maintaining sexual boundaries with their patients.AHPRA will advise and support notifiers2 Notifier/s means a person who has made a notification (complaint) to AHPRA about the alleged conduct of a health practitioner. There is no place for sex in the doctor-patient relationship, either in the guise of a ‘consensual’ sexual relationship, or in the form of sexualised comments or behaviour, or indecent or sexual assault.Good medical practice involves ‘never using your professional relationship to establish or pursue a sexual, exploitative or other inappropriate relationship with anybody under your care.

Trust in the relationship between doctors and patients is a cornerstone of good medical practice.

This individual may provide them with support and advice.

In some cases, such as when they are the parent of a child patient, they may make decisions on behalf of the patient about their healthcare.

The start of a sexual relationship between a doctor and a patient may not always be immediately obvious to either the doctor or patient.

Doctors need to be alert to warning signs that could indicate that boundaries are being, or are about to be crossed.

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If there is a possibility that sexual boundaries could be breached, or that the doctor may not remain objective, the doctor should transfer the patient’s care to another doctor.

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