A chiropractor is stripped of his licence for five years because he treated a woman who was also his common-law partner. A doctor receives similar punishment after a patient became his live-in girlfriend. No one questioned that either relationship was consensual, yet both men were found guilty of sexually abusing their patient-spouses.
Now, amid growing discontent over Ontario’s “unique,” zero-tolerance ban on any sex between health professionals and patients, a government advisory panel has urged giving spouses an exemption from the professional regulation, first adopted two decades ago. But what some view as a long-overdue, common-sense amendment has generated surprising controversy — and debate over how best to combat sexual impropriety in health care.
Many practitioners say the change would legitimize dual professional-spousal relationships that should never have been outlawed, while one major regulator warns the “dangerous” move will “fundamentally undermine” the ban’s zero-tolerance philosophy.
“If this change…
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