Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 191–201

Boundaries in the Doctor–Patient Relationship

  • Carol Nadelson
  • Malkah T. Notman

DOI: 10.1023/A:1020899425668

Cite this article as:
Nadelson, C. & Notman, M.T. Theor Med Bioeth (2002) 23: 191. doi:10.1023/A:1020899425668


Boundaries in the doctor–patient relationshipis an important concept to help healthprofessionals navigate the complex andsometimes difficult experience between patientand doctor where intimacy and power must bebalanced in the direction of benefitingpatients. This paper reviews the concept ofboundary violations and boundary crossings inthe doctor–patient relationship, cautions aboutcertain kinds of boundary dilemmas involvingdual relationships, gift giving practices,physical contact with patients, andself-disclosure. The paper closes with somerecommendations for preventing boundaryviolations.

boundaries boundary violations doctor–patient relationship ethics professional misconduct 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol Nadelson
    • 1
  • Malkah T. Notman
    • 2
  1. 1.Brigham and Women's HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.BrooklineUSA