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The 2.4 Interpretive Statement included with Provision 2 of the Code of Ethics for Nurses describes ethical considerations in our relationships with patients and colleagues.

Maintaining a professional relationship keeps the focus therapeutic and committed to the health and wellness needs of the patient.

It also states that obtaining a patient's consent does not justify a sexual relationship.

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The guidance comes after a number of high-profile cases in which doctors and other health-care staff have sexually abused patients, such as that of the psychiatrists Dr William Kerr and Michael Haslam, both of whom abused vulnerable patients in Yorkshire.

The guidance lists unacceptable behaviour and states that health professionals must establish and maintain clear sexual boundaries.

Sexual activity is defined in the document as words, behaviour or actions by a health professional towards a patient, family member or carer which might be interpreted as sexually motivated.

The guidance says cases will be judged "individually".

Posts Maintaining Professional Boundaries-Part I Maintaining Professional Boundaries-Part II Podcasts Ethical Boundaries: What Correctional Nurses Need to Know Understanding Professional Boundaries The Nurse’s Guide to Professional Boundaries provides some helpful information for Sheila as she considers Jim’s movie offer.

For example, they suggest the following considerations.

Jim and Sheila talked briefly during the intake process and he was in the jail 48 hours.

She saw him again a couple weeks later in line at the coffee shop in town.

"It is never a defence for a professional to claim a patient gave permission for a sexual relationship.

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