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If the patient makes any further advances, the doctor or therapist should recommend that the patient see another practitioner.
While concern focused originally on relationships between patients and psychiatrists, it is now generally recognized that the problem extends to non-psychiatric physicians as well. Suppose a state medical board seeks to discipline a physician for having an affair with a patient, but both the patient and the physician insist that the patient consented to the relationship. In an article in JAMA announcing the policy, the Council rejected the position that sexual relationships should be permitted with the patient's consent on the ground that "the relative position of the patient within the professional relationship is such that it is difficult for the patient to give meaningful consent to such behavior." It is interesting that the AMA categorically condemns sexual relationships to which patients allegedly consent.Although a retired doctor can’t commit malpractice in the strictest sense, a relationship between a former patient and a former doctor still raises a number of legal and ethical issues.The doctor’s fiduciary duty to patients is expected to survive after treatment.For example, if family members seek treatment for an unconscious patient, the law assumes that there is an agreement between the doctor and the patient, even if the patient is unable to make any agreement.A medical malpractice attorney can use this contract in any lawsuits for the victim.