Physicans dating patients

In some limited cases, however, a patient may pose a genuine risk of harm to the physician, the physician’s staff, or to other patients.

In these cases, it may not be possible or safe to attempt to resolve the conflict with the patient directly, and physicians are under no obligation to engage with the patient prior to ending the physician-patient relationship.

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In these circumstances, it may be necessary for the physician to decrease the number of patients to whom care is provided.

As each practice and patient population is unique, physicians must exercise their own professional judgment, consistent with this policy, in selecting which patients to remove from their practice.

Before formally ending the physician-patient relationship, physicians must make a good-faith effort to determine whether the patient would prefer to maintain the relationship.

This effort must include, at minimum, a letter of inquiry sent to the patient’s last known address.

Where no response is received, or the patient indicates that care has been sought elsewhere, physicians may formally remove the patient from the practice.

In the course of providing care, physicians may sometimes charge patients for services that are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

While all physicians are expected to act first and foremost in the best interests of their patients, there may be times when physicians’ ethical and professional obligation to provide care to an individual patient is in conflict with their other important duties or obligations, such as those owed to their other patients, colleagues, or themselves.

In circumstances such as these, physicians may consider ending the physician-patient relationship.

In every case, physicians must bear in mind that ending the physician-patient relationship may have significant consequences for the patient, for example, by limiting their access to care, or by reducing their level of trust in the medical profession.

For this reason, physicians must undertake reasonable efforts to resolve the situation affecting their ability to provide care in the best interest of the patient, and only consider ending the physician-patient relationship where those efforts have been unsuccessful.

Policy Number:#2-17 Policy Category: Practice Under Review: No Approved by Council: February 2000 Publication Date: Dialogue, Issue 2, 2017 Reviewed and Updated: June 2008, May 2017 College Contact: Physician Advisory Service Downloadable Version(s): Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship | Comment mettre fin à la relation médecin-patient An effective physician-patient relationship is essential for the provision of quality medical care, and it forms the foundation of the practice of medicine.

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