Dialogue Volume 14 Issue 2 2018 - Page 17

REPORTS FROM COUNCIL Proposal extends protection for former psychotherapy patients Regulation would supplement Ministry’s definition of patient C An overview of the discussions and decisions made at the May Council meeting. ouncil has supported a proposed regulation to extend the physician- patient relationship five years past termination where the re- lationship has involved psychother- apy. The College’s proposed regula- tion, if approved, would mean that if a physician has a sexual relationship with a former psychotherapy patient any time within the five years fol- lowing termination, the physician would be subject to mandatory revocation. The regulation qualifies that the “treatment provided by the member to the individual involves psychotherapy that is more than minor or insubstantial.” This regulation would supplement, not replace, the Ministry’s regulation defining a patient that came into force on May 1st. As detailed in an advisory that was sent to all members in April, changes to the College’s governing legislation, which flow from Bill 87, the Protecting Patients Act, means that now, for the purposes of sexual abuse, a person will be considered to be a patient for a year after the termination of the doctor-patient relationship. This means that any physician who engages in a sexual relationship with a patient within one year of the termination of the doctor-patient relationship is subject to mandatory revocation. The regu- lation includes an exemption from the definition if all of the following conditions are satisfied: a sexual re- ISSUE 2, 2018 DIALOGUE 17