Meet Dr. Donnica Video Introduction TV Appearances

Diseases & Conditions Today on DrDonnica.com Clinical Trials Decisionnaires FAQs Top Tips Fast Facts Debunking Myths News Alerts Celebrity Speak Out Guest Experts Women's Health Champions Books Women's Health Resources

Mission Privacy Policy Sponsors Press Room What's New? Contact Us

This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.


Hope Award

Send to a Friend

Personal Relationships with Doctors While They are Treating You or a Close Family Member

Q: I had never read anything on your website or even heard of you until tonight when I was searching for something else that led me to your page. You have not addressed on your website a topic I would like to see an answer to.

Do the doctors ever become involved with patients families for reasons other than for the purpose of keeping in touch regarding patient care in the home? I had a relationship that was more than just "how's mom" with one of your experts and I would like to know what really happened.

My real name can never be used and I will not tell you the name of the expert unless it will never be discussed with him.

Maybe you can give me closure.



Dr. Donnica: I will never use your name for any reason, nor do I need to know the identity of the expert involved. The issue you have raised is a very delicate one and there is no simple answer. In general, the ethics of medical practice would strongly discourage a physician from ever getting involved in a relationship with a patient while they remain in a doctor-patient relationship. However, in my opinion, there is nothing that is explicitly "wrong" with a doctor getting involved with a family member of a patient so long as both parties are consenting adults and the relationship wasn't entered into under false pretenses or by exploiting what the physician knew to be an emotionally charged situation. No confidential medical information should be discussed between the doctor and the family member without the patient's permission.

In general, most physicians would still support delaying any significant involvement until the doctor involved is no longer the treating physician of the family member. If you feel that the doctor has initiated this relationship inappropriately, or that you no longer care to be in the relationship, I recommend that you treat the situation as you would treat any relationship: Discuss it with the person involved and terminate the relationship. This is the only thing that will give you closure. While we expect physicians to act according to certain professional standards, we must remember that they often behave just like other people. Without knowing any details of this relationship, I really can't comment any further.

With best regards,
Donnica Moore, M.D.
President, DrDonnica.com

Created: 11/21/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

All the content contained herein is copyrighted pursuant to federal law. Duplication or use without
the express written permission of DrDonnica.com subjects the violator to both civil & criminal penalties.
Copyright © 2006 DrDonnica.com. All rights reserved.

Home | Today on DrDonnica.com | Meet Dr. Donnica | TV Appearances | Clinical Trials
Diseases & Conditions | Decisionnaires | Celebrity Speak Out | Guest Experts | Women's Health Champions
FAQs | Women’s Health Resources | Archive | Books & Tapes | Site Certification | Advanced Search
Mission | What’s New? | Press Room | Privacy Policy | Sponsors | Partners | Contact Us