Boundaries in the doctor–patient relationship

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (3):191-201 (2002)

Boundaries in the doctor–patient relationshipis an important concept to help healthprofessionals navigate the complex andsometimes difficult experience between patientand doctor where intimacy and power must bebalanced in the direction of benefitingpatients. This paper reviews the concept ofboundary violations and boundary crossings inthe doctor–patient relationship, cautions aboutcertain kinds of boundary dilemmas involvingdual relationships, gift giving practices,physical contact with patients, andself-disclosure. The paper closes with somerecommendations for preventing boundaryviolations.
Keywords boundaries  boundary violations  doctor–patient relationship  ethics  professional misconduct
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1020899425668
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