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In relation to family members and persons with whom they have a close relationship, it is inappropriate for surgeons to:
- perform any invasive or non-invasive operative procedure
- prescribe or administer drugs of dependence
- prescribe psychotropic medication
- undertake psychotherapy
- issue medical certificates
RACS asserts that surgeons must avoid providing any surgical care to family members and/or those with whom they have a close relationship. Surgeons who undertake procedures on family members in non-life threating circumstances are liable to be found in breach of RACS Code of Conduct and subject to sanctions under relevant college policies.
Family member: An individual with whom you have both a familial connection and a personal or close relationship such that the relationship could reasonably be expected to affect your professional and objective judgement. Family member includes, but is not limited to, your spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling, members of your extended family or whānau, or your spouse or partner’s extended family or whānau.
Those close to you: Any other individuals who have a personal or close relationship with you, whether familial or not, where the relationship is of such a nature that it could reasonably be expected to affect your professional and objective judgement. Council recognises that those close to you will vary for each doctor.
Surgical Emergency: Treatment of illnesses or injuries that require immediate surgical attention.
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Code of Conduct, 2016
Medical Board of Australia, Good medical practice: a code of conduct for medical practitioners, 2014.
Medical Council of New Zealand, Statement on providing care to yourself or those close to you, 2016