Should a psychiatrist who began dating his patient shortly after they stopped seeing each other professionally be allowed to keep his licence?
That’s the question before a discipline panel of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which must determine if Toronto doctor Nagi Ghabbour should become the first physician in the province to have his licence yanked for becoming romantically involved with a former patient too soon after the end of the doctor-patient relationship.
So what if the psychiatrist “knows all about” about a client?
The college’s current policy on sex with former patients states that several factors should be considered, including the length and intensity of the professional relationship, the type of care involved, and how much personal information has been confided to the doctor.
“When the physician-patient relationship involves a significant component of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, sexual involvement with the patient is likely inappropriate at any time after termination,” says the policy. Patient A (as she was called due to a publication ban) and Ghabbour have now been living together for over a year, and intend to marry, according to an agreed statement of facts.
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The penalty of revocation is “appropriate and necessary to protect the public and ensure that public trust in the profession is maintained and that public trust in the regulator is maintained,” college lawyer Elisabeth Widner told the five-member panel Wednesday.
Ghabbour’s case comes as the provincial government is looking to strengthen the law around sexual abuse and physician-patient relationships in the wake of a Star investigation.
Now the relationship between psychiatrists and patients in the framework of examination and treatment will be discussed.
Here psychiatrists are in their primary role, primary in the sense that this role is the oldest, the main role, and the most important one.
She feels safe and comforted whenever she sees him.
He knows just when to hand her a tissue when she's about to cry, and they share laughs together because her sense of humor is so like his. Jason Robards was a psychologist in "Tender Is the Night" and married his patient, Jennifer Jones.
The roles of scientist and social arbitrator are spin-offs.