Healthcare professionals are in a position of trust and of power with a patient, by having professional knowledge and skills that a patient must rely on for their well-being.
In addition, they have access to patients’ personal health information.
Regulated members must always maintain professional boundaries with their patients. They are prohibited from engaging in any form of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct with a patient. All elements of what constitutes sexual abuse, sexual misconduct; as well as who is a patient can be found in the Standard of Practice: 2.7 Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Involving a Patient.
Complaints of a sexual nature may involve:
- Privacy and respect
- Inappropriate comments or gestures
- Unnecessary or improper physical examinations
- Sexual contact or assault