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A psychologist who enters into a sexual relationship with a client or former client at that person’s request, and who does so when he knows or ought to know that he is thereby putting the other’s health (mental or otherwise) at risk, acts unprofessionally.This is particularly so where transference may still operate so as to induce the client to seek the intimacy.The potential for the will of the patient in that situation to be unwittingly overborne as a result of undue influence, is great.30 Observations have been made concerning a particular susceptibility of patients of medical practitioners in the fields of gynaecology and psychiatry, where the intimacy of the professional relationship is such that there is grave risk that a patient’s interests may be compromised, if the professional relationship develops towards a personal relationship..topic_pill.topic_pill a.topic_pill:hover a.action_button.action_button:active.action_button:hover.action_button:focus.action_button:hover.action_button:focus .count.action_button:hover .count.action_button:focus .count:before.action_button:hover .count:before.submit_button.submit_button:active.submit_button:hover.submit_button:not(.fake_disabled):hover.submit_button:not(.fake_disabled):focus._type_serif_title_large.js-wf-loaded ._type_serif_title_large.amp-page [email protected] only screen and (min-device-width:320px) and (max-device-width:360px).u-margin-top--lg.u-margin-left--sm.u-flex.u-flex-auto.u-flex-none.bullet.
Normally, the doctor and patient relationships should be terminated.
 TASSC 70, the Supreme Court of Tasmania quashed a decision of the Psychologists Registration Board of Tasmania to suspend a psychologist for 6 months for entering into a sexual relationship with a former patient fewer than 2 years after the end of the therapeutic relationship. The appropriate test must be whether a sexual relationship would exploit the client or put the health of the client at risk.
The Supreme Court quashed the decision because the Board switched from considering these allegations as a breach of a code of conduct to considering them as an allegation of professional misconduct at common law without adequately bringing the switch to the unrepresented psychologist’s attention. Justice Blow engaged in a mini-review of recent cases about health professionals and sex with former patients:“In my opinion the fact that the professional relationship had ended at the time the sexual relationship commenced is not of itself determinative.
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