ETHICAL PROBLEMS: Not-so-innocent encounters

October 2004 
Volume 34  Number 10
Pages 66 - 67
  PDF Version Available!

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(10)             October 2004             p 66–67 Not-so-innocent encounters [ETHICAL PROBLEMS: BOUNDARY ISSUES]


I'm caring for a young woman who became a quadriplegic patient after a diving accident just a few weeks ago. Understandably, she and her family are devastated .

Here's my problem: My patient's husband (an attractive man about my age) has asked me several times to have lunch with him in the hospital cafeteria or to meet him after my shift for a cup of coffee. He says he just needs to talk to “someone who understands.” I want to help, but is this the right thing to do as an advocate for my patient? (I can see pros and cons here.) —E.M., N.Y.

Yes, there are two sides. Your patient's husband is undoubtedly worried and upset, and talking to you, a sympathetic ...

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