Boundary violations and departments of psychiatry.



To explore a number of issues related to boundary violations in psychiatry, including the relationship between the individual physician and his or her patient and broader issues related to various dilemmas arising in academic departments of psychiatry.


Several potentially troublesome scenarios are presented and discussed in the contexts of 1) the doctor-patient relationship, 2) sexual boundary violations, and 3) nonsexual forms of exploitation, such as finances, confidentiality, dual relationships, and relationships with industry.


A number of examples of boundary problems involving psychiatrists have been explored, and although some of these behaviours are clearly forbidden and harmful, others are less clear and require careful consideration if the profession is to arrive at a thoughtful consensus.

(Paul E. Garfinkel, et al. Can J Psychiatry 1997;42:764–770)

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