Under Review: No
Issued by Council (Sexual Boundary Violations): January 1, 2010
Reissued by Council (Boundary Violations): July 1, 2018
Reissued by Council (Boundary Violations: Personal): April 1, 2019
Please refer to both this and the Boundary Violations: Sexual standard for all expectations related to boundary violations.
- A regulated member must maintain professional boundaries in any interaction with a patient including, but not limited to:
- providing adequate draping:
- providing privacy while the patient is undressing or dressing;
- obtaining informed consent for intimate or sensitive examinations; and
- using appropriate examination techniques when touching sensitive or personal areas of the body including, but not limited to, breasts, genitalia or anus.
- A regulated member must consider and minimize any potential conflict of interest or risk of coercion when engaging with a patient in a non-clinical context (i.e., in a personal, social, financial or business relationship).
- A regulated member must not:
- enter into a close personal relationship with a patient or any person with whom a patient has a significant interdependent relationship (e.g., parent, guardian, child or significant other);
- socialize or communicate with a patient for the purpose of pursuing a close personal relationship; or
- terminate a physician-patient relationship for the purpose of pursuing a close personal relationship.
- A regulated member must not enter into a close personal relationship with a former patient unless:
- the regulated member has never provided the patient with psychotherapeutic treatment;
- there is minimal risk of a continuing power imbalance; and
- sufficient time has passed since the last clinical encounter, given the nature and extent of the physician-patient relationship.
- A regulated member must not promote his/her personal or religious beliefs or causes to a patient in the context of the physician-patient relationship.
Physician-Learner and Physician-Subordinate Relationships
- A regulated member must not:
- sexualize a teacher-learner relationship by making sexual comments or gestures toward a learner1;
- enter into a close personal or sexual relationship with a learner while directly or indirectly responsible for mentoring, teaching, supervising or evaluating that learner; or
- enter into any relationship with a learner that could present a risk of conflict of interest or coercion while directly or indirectly responsible for mentoring, teaching and/or evaluating that learner.
- A regulated member who has a pre-existing (current or past) close personal or sexual relationship with a learner or a subordinate physician must:
- notify the applicable clinical and academic leaders of the relationship;
- remove him/herself from any role teaching or evaluating the subordinate physician or learner; and
- remove him/herself from any discussion of the performance of the subordinate physician or learner.
Advice to the ProfessionAll Resources
Related Standards of PracticeAll Resources
Boundary Violations: SexualCPSA Click to view files
Code of Ethics & ProfessionalismCPSA Click to view files
Conflict of InterestCPSA Click to view files
Duty to Report a ColleagueCPSA Click to view files
Informed ConsentCPSA Click to view files
Terminating the Physician-Patient RelationshipCPSA Click to view files
For questions or archived standards, policies and guidelines contact our Standards of Practice Advisor.