Ethics of physician dating former patient

I made a presentation on ethics and the new Code at the 2012 annual convention.

Sexual contact that occurs concurrent with the patient-physician relationship constitutes sexual misconduct and is unethical.

I will briefly discuss the following: We live in a selfish, greedy culture. With a code of ethics we dedicate ourselves to these precepts because we see ourselves in each thing, in every person.

There is a pervasive Machiavellian attitude about money. We know that harming others through body, speech or mind is harming a part of ourselves: just as we as naturopathic physicians know that all parts of our body/mind are connected. We are not a separate or local self, but a continuum with all else.

Rewards are not necessarily related to ethical behavior. These precepts can bring us to a sense of deep responsibility toward the greater world and responsibility for ourselves as well.

They are, in essence, a way for us to take care of our global and our very local community. Like any guidelines, taken too rigidly, they can breed self-righteousness, humorlessness, and even vengeance.

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