Statement of Policy
The physician-patient relationship is a critical component in the effective provision of care and requires a high level of trust and professional responsibility. This important relationship is damaged when there is either confusion regarding professional roles and behavior, or clear lack of integrity that allows sexual exploitation and harm.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recognizes physician/patient relationship boundary violations of a sexual or intimate nature as an inappropriate and highly unethical abuse of professional power that is addressed in several ACOG documents (1-3). Such behavior violates patient trust and jeopardizes the well-being of patients. The ethical prohibition of sexual misconduct is forceful, and its application in medical practice is essential.
Sexual misconduct. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 796. Obstet Gynecol 2020;135:e43-50. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003608
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Code of professional ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG; 2018. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.acog.org/-/media/project/acog/acogorg/files/pdfs/acog-policies/code-of-professional-ethics-of-the-american-college-of-obstetricians-and-gynecologists.pdf
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG meetings anti-harassment policy. ACOG; 2018. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.acog.org/-/media/project/acog/acogorg/files/pdfs/acog-policies/acog-meetings-anti-harassment-policy.pdf
Approved by the Board of Directors February 2019
Amended December 2019
Amended and Reaffirmed July 2022