Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Regs Bar Dentists from Dating Patients

Harrisburg, Pa. (AP) - Dentists who find their perfect love match sitting in the patients' chair must end the professional relationship and wait a few months before dating, under new Pennsylvania regulations.

The new rules say any sexual conduct with a current patient is sexual misconduct and subject to disciplinary action by the State Board of Dentistry - even if it's consensual. The rules will take effect in the coming weeks.

The regulations will apply to dentists, hygienists and other state-licensed dental practitioners engaged in sexual conduct with patients they have treated within the past three months. There are exceptions for relationships in which the patient is a spouse or a lives with the employee.

The Pennsylvania Dental Association opposed the change, saying current regulations against sexual abuse are adequate.

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