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Does sex between patient and physician constitute malpractice?

Jacksonville, FL |
Filed under: Medical malpractice

I was treated by neurologist for 6 years for possible then probable MS. The relationship btwn myself & md was good but professional until 5 months ago. Had attempted suicide several times. considered a diff pt.been through many MH providers. desperate not to be dropped by this md which I told him.he became more devoted to seeing me weekly.making the last appt of day so he "could spend more time with me". 6 weeks later he asked me to come on sat for appt.He told me he could help me by having sex with me. Desperate not to lose his care, I agreed. I believed he cared that much. < than 1 mos. Affair dis by husband after suicide attempt bc he (md) wouldn't see me.. All ended. Do I have grounds for malpractice? I spent 30 days in rehab as depression has worsened & marriage on verge of divorce?

Attorney Answers 3


State laws vary significantly with respect to whether sex with a patient is malpractice. Some courts have found that sex between a doctor and a patient can be malpractice because it breaches the doctor's fiduciary relationship. Other courts have held that sex with a patient is an intentional act versus an unintentional act arising from negligence. In addition, some courts have also held that doctors who say that sex is therapeutic have committed fraud. Thus, you should get a free consultation with a lawyer in your state who knows the law in your state.

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Sex between doctors and patients occurs mroe frequently than you might think. It is highly unethical on the part of the doctor, but not necessarily malpractice depending on the laws of the individual state. I agree that you should seek consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer to determine what rights you have under the law of your state.

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Malpractice implies a breach of a duty and an actual loss. Unless you have some loss, it may not constitute a viable malpractice claim. You have have sufficient loss given what you describe with the emotional trauma. Honestly, I am not sure as I do not typically handle medical malpractice claims.

HOWEVER, it is clearly a breach of his fiduciary and/or ethical duties as a licensed physician in the State of Florida. Therefore, I would recommend you at the very least file a complaint against the doctor with the Division of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR). You can find a complaint format and FAQ's on the DBPR website; you can go to You may want to consult with an attorney about the malpractice and, if you like, to guide you on the ethical complaint.

Also, what he did might have constituted criminal conduct. Again, you may want to consult with counsel but you might want to consider contacting the police and pursuing a criminal complaint.

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1 comment

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown


It is usually best to rely on the advice given by your local attorneys because they should be most familiar with the relevant, up-to-date information.

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