The columnist, Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, Edina, Minn., has been practicing for more than 25 years, and he is a former member of the ASPS Judicial Council.Readers are encouraged to submit questions directly to Dr.Ethical Standard 10.08 is an excellent illustration of how the code accomplishes this essential function.
Moreover, courts have indicated that, despite the physician's greater power within the relationship, they are willing to consider on a case- by-case basis whether to uphold agreements between patients and physicians in which the patient agrees not to sue the physician for malpractice.
Why then does the AMA absolutely prohibit sexual relationships with consenting adult patients?
Time may attenuate the intensity and even the likelihood that an involvement will result in harm.
Sexual relationships with patients are problematic, not only because they may be unethical and may compromise patient care, but because they may lead to civil actions for damages, criminal actions, and disciplinary proceedings by state medical boards. Consent is not a defense to a charge of statutory rape or sexual imposition on a minor. The American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs states categorically that "[s]exual contact that occurs concurrent with the physician-patient relationship constitutes sexual misconduct" (Opinion 8.14).
11 Print version: page 76 The APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct--our ethics code--consists of general principles and standards of conduct, as its title reveals.