Relations with a Patient

TitleRelations with a Patient
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate Authorsof Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, IIT
Date Published03/1997
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCOUNSELING , Dual , professional , professional codes of ethics , PROFESSIONAL ethics , professional responsibility , PSYCHOLOGY
AbstractFrom September through December of 1993 Nancy Smith, a young architect (29) with a leading local firm, had psychotherapy sessions twice a week with Dr. Bruce Brown, a licensed therapist. She discontinued therapy with Dr. Brown at the end of the year to leave the city on a special assignment for three months. Upon returning, she did not resume therapy with Dr. Brown. Nancy didn’t see him again at all until January of 1996 when she and Dr. Brown met at a social gathering. Shortly after the gathering, they began to see one another, and a sexually intimate relationship developed between them. Neither Dr. Brown nor Nancy is married. Dr. Brown is recently divorced. He is ten years older than Nancy. Should the Psychiatrist’s Code of Professional Conduct include a rule, for whose violation a psychotherapist may be subject to discipline, forbidding sexual intimacy between a psychiatrist and a person who has consulted with him or her, in the preceding circumstances? If so, why, and what kind of disciplinary sanction is appropriate? If not, why not?
NotesCase from the March 6, 1997 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright Robert Ladenson, Center for the Study of Ethics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 1997.
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