Policy statement--Pediatrician-family-patient relationships: managing the boundaries

Pediatrics. 2009 Dec;124(6):1685-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-2147.


All professionals are concerned about maintaining the appropriate limits in their relationships with those they serve. Pediatricians should be aware that, under normal circumstances, caring for one's own children presents significant ethical issues. Pediatricians also must strive to maintain appropriate professional boundaries in their relationships with the family members of their patients. Pediatricians should avoid behavior that patients and parents might misunderstand as having sexual or inappropriate social meaning. Romantic and sexual involvement between physicians and patients is unacceptable. The acceptance of gifts or nonmonetary compensation for medical services has the potential to affect the professional relationship adversely.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Compensation and Redress / ethics
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Guideline Adherence / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / ethics*
  • Professional-Family Relations / ethics*
  • Sexual Behavior / ethics
  • Social Behavior
  • Societies, Medical*