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WCBA in the Summer: Boundaries Part Two

All summer, we're bringing you the best of White Coat, Black Art. This week, Part Two of a series about the relationship boundaries between health professionals and patients. If you missed Part One, you can catch it here. For those who think boundary violations always involve dating and intimacy you might be surprised to hear about other situations that could be considered "crossing the line."

Tune in to CBC Radio One today, Monday July 11 at 11:30am (3:30 pm NT) or you can stream the show below or download the podcast:

Check out Dr. Brian's original blog entry when this show aired, after the jump...

Boundary Violations: Why Not Blame the Patient?

Provincial colleges have written policies designed to keep health professionals from crossing the line with patients. In Part 2 of our series on boundary violations, we asked whether patients need a set of guidelines of their own.

"It takes two to tango," as the saying goes. Except if you're talking about patients who sleep with their health professionals. According to current thinking, when that happens, it's always the fault of the health professional.

Here's my problem with that point of view: it gives seductive patients a gold-plated permanent 'get out of jail free' card. Even if you're inclined to always blame the doc, I see no reason why the patient can't take some responsiblity as well. Automatic absolution from responsiblity turns patients into infants.

Just one of the many gray areas in the boundary between health professional and patient.

Let us know what you think.