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NAGPUR: The ‘guidelines on sexual boundaries for doctors’ adopted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) state that sexual activity between a doctor and a patient, even if consensual, will be against good medical practice. Even if the patient initiates it, it will be unethical for a doctor to engage in such a relationship. A relationship with a former patient is also discouraged and can be interpreted as unethical.
The gender neutral guidelines, framed by the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS), are posted on the MCI website. A member of the MCI’s ethics committee stated that they had to draft some guidelines after the Delhi High Court questioned them about MCI’s rules against sexual misconduct. It was acting after taking suo motu cognizance of a case that involved a doctor of Indian origin in the US in 2017. The doctor was earlier registered with the MCI. The court directed the MCI to adopt the IPS guidelines after analyzing them.
Academicians; however, stated that there was nothing new in the guidelines. Several of the points are taught in medical ethics and medical etiquette to every doctor during the MBBS course, mentioned Dr Ajit Pathak, Controller of examination, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences. (TNN)