Now don’t you pull anything

Ontario’s Regulated Health Professions Act, enacted in 1993, specifies, not unreasonably, that health-care providers are not allowed to have sexual relations with their patients. Unfortunately, this apparently means that dentists cannot treat their spouses:

Burlington dentist Larry Pedlar … for half a century, counted his wife among his patients. A year ago, he was mortified to learn that if he continued doing this he could be found guilty of sexual abuse and have his licence pulled for five years.

That’s when the Ontario Court of Appeal issued a decision saying that the province’s Regulated Health Professions Act makes it clear that health professionals cannot have sex with their patients. The appeal court was ruling on a case involving a Waterloo chiropractor who had treated his girlfriend. The chiropractor was found guilty of professional misconduct for sexual abuse and lost his licence.

Will Truman says he, personally, wouldn’t want his wife to be his physician:

I wouldn’t want one relationship to interfere with the other… But dentists? I don’t see a real problem there. They just clean and fix your teeth and mouth. Obviously, there are stories of dentists doing bad things while a patient is under anesthesia, but that’s something of a different bird.

Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews has asked the pertinent Advisory Council to make recommendations for possible changes to the rules.

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