the deleterious effects of such relationships upon patients have become increasingly recognized and condemned by the medical community. One such area is whether sexual relationships with patients are ever ethically permissible and, if so, under what circumstances.Two years after the zero tolerance policy was adopted, the New Zealand Medical Council released a further policy statement in which it stated that whilst complaints regarding sexual relations with former patients will be considered individually, it will be presumed to be unethical if the “doctor–patient relationship involved psychotherapy, or long-term counselling and support; the patient suffered a disorder likely to impair judgement or hinder decision-making; the doctor knew that the patient had been sexually abused in the past; [or] the patient was under the age of 20 when the doctor–patient relationship ended”.This paper presents evidence from international medical and ethical literature to examine the validity of this position taken by the New Zealand Medical Council regarding the sexualization of relationships with former patients.First, the concepts of boundaries and transference are discussed and a profile of the medical practitioner at risk of offending is drawn.The panel accepted Paxton's claims that the relationship had fizzled out by the end of the year, despite records showing she called his mobile 143 times and sent him 1,892 texts in January and February 2009.She told the hearing she made the 19-second call following an argument with her own husband over rumours he had heard that the affair was ongoing.
She said: "She told me she had been having an affair with my husband and she felt she needed to tell me because he didn't have the balls to tell me.
She had been reconciling with her husband but suspected Patient A had been telling people about the affair.
Telephone records showed she had tried to call Patient A's mobile phone on 36 occasions that night before resorting to calling his wife - who was already suspicious after finding text messages on her husband's phone months earlier - and asking to speak to him.
Or perhaps the AMA feels that there simply are no circumstances in which a patient could give valid consent.
What about sexual relationships after the patient-physician relationship has ended?