Chiropractors and dating patients

An unwarranted physical examination may constitute sexual assault.

This includes conducting or allowing others, such as students, to conduct examinations on anaesthetised patients, when the patient has not given explicit consent for the examination.

It can cause significant and lasting harm to patients.

These guidelines aim to provide guidance to doctors about establishing and maintaining sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship.

Doctors need to be alert to warning signs that could indicate that boundaries are being, or are about to be crossed.It may be unethical and unprofessional for a doctor to engage in a sexual relationship with a former patient, if this breaches the trust the patient placed in the doctor.Doctors should recognise the influence they have had on patients and that a power imbalance could continue long after the professional relationship has ended.Such a relationship may be unethical if the doctor has used any power imbalance, knowledge or influence obtained as the patient’s doctor.When deciding whether a doctor used the doctor-patient relationship to engage in a sexual relationship with an individual close to the patient, the Board will consider a range of factors including: A physical examination is an important part of the medical consultation.

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It can cause profound psychological harm to patients and compromise their medical care.

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