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The subject of physician-patient boundaries illustrates how well-intentioned policy can be written in a way that is simply too shallow to serve the goals of ethics.
Ghabbour’s case comes as the provincial government is looking to strengthen the law around sexual abuse and physician-patient relationships in the wake of a Star investigation.
Under proposed legislation, known as Bill 87, announced last year a person is still considered a “patient” for the purpose of the new rules for one year after they stop seeing the physician.
Spending time together can be difficult as doctors schedules are erratic.
Try to be understanding that their plans will often change.
Physicians should weigh a number of considerations when maintaining a presence online: (a) Physicians should be cognizant of standards of patient privacy and confidentiality that must be maintained in all environments, including online, and must refrain from posting identifiable patient information online.
(b) When using the Internet for social networking, physicians should use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the extent possible, but should realize that privacy settings are not absolute and that once on the Internet, content is likely there permanently.
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Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, said: "I don't see any problem with it if they are no longer their doctor.
"I think it was all a bit of an old fashioned idea quite honestly. "They are getting into the 21st century and it's a good updating." Some senior GPs, however, have previously warned that such relationships are always problematic.
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