Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship (Consultation Closed)

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    Our Process

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    The College’s Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship policy is currently being reviewed. This policy sets out expectations for physicians who end the physician-patient relationship for any reason other than the physician’s retirement, relocation, leave of absence, or as a result of disciplinary action by the College.

    View the current policy

    To assist with this review, we are inviting feedback from all stakeholders, including members of the medical profession, the public, health system organizations and other health professionals on the current policy. Comments received during this preliminary consultation will assist the College in updating the policy. When a revised draft is developed, it will be recirculated for further comment before it is finalized by Council.

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    We want to hear your thoughts on the current policy…

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    Background

    The College’s Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship policy sets out expectations for physicians who end the physician-patient relationship for any reason other than the physician’s retirement, relocation, leave of absence, or as a result of disciplinary action by the College. It requires physicians to always act in the best interest of their patients, while also recognizing that an effective doctor-patient relationship is necessary for the provision of quality care.

    Although the policy permits physicians to end the physician-patient relationship in a number of circumstances, including where there has been a breakdown in mutual trust and respect, it also requires physicians to act without discrimination, and using good clinical judgment and compassion.

    While the policy provides several examples of situations where it may be appropriate for a physician to end the physician-patient relationship, it also sets out several examples where it is not appropriate, including where it is prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code, or where the patient requires urgent or emergency services not otherwise available.

    The policy further articulates the actions that must be taken by physicians when ending the physician-patient relationship, including a requirement to communicate their decision to the patient in writing.

    Have Your Say

    We would like to hear your thoughts on the current policy, along with suggestions you may have for how the policy could be improved.

    In particular, we are interested to know:

        • Does the policy provide useful guidance?
        • Are there issues not addressed in the current policy that should be addressed? If so, what are they?
        • Are there other ways in which the policy should be improved?

    Please provide your feedback by August 7, 2015.

    Next Steps

    The College is committed to ensuring that the Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship policy reflects current practice issues, embodies the values and duties of medical professionalism, and is consistent with the College’s mandate to protect the public. The feedback obtained during this consultation will be carefully reviewed and used to evaluate the draft. While it may not be possible to ensure that every comment or suggested edit will be incorporated into the revised policy, all comments will be carefully considered.

    Once a revised draft policy has been developed, stakeholders will be invited to review the revised document and provide further feedback before it is considered for final approval by Council.

    Final decisions regarding policy revisions are made by College Council.

    To ensure transparency, the College will post all consultation feedback in accordance with our posting guidelines.

    We value your feedback and thank you again for participating in our policy review process.

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    Contact us by email

    Email

    Contact us by mail:

    College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
    80 College Street
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5G2E2

    Attention: Policy Department