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Canada Southern Alberta physician admits to inappropriate relationships with patients

04:35  14 november  2017
04:35  14 november  2017 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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In fact, once the physician - patient relationship is established, the physician must continue to provide care to the patient to avoid physician admits to inappropriate relationships with patients A southern Alberta physician will face disciplinary action for unprofessional conduct after admitting

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111317-no_object-baddoc-W.jpg: Southern Alberta physician admits to inappropriate relationships with patients© Photopa1 Southern Alberta physician admits to inappropriate relationships with patients A southern Alberta physician will face disciplinary action for unprofessional conduct after admitting he had sexual relationships with women patients.

At a hearing that began at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta offices in Edmonton on Monday, a three-person tribunal heard that Dr. Johann Maritz, a family physician in Blairmore, Alta., had inappropriate relationships with two women more than a decade ago.

The first began in 1999. Afterwards, Maritz attended a residential treatment centre for sexual addiction in Texas, but upon his return, continued a second relationship with a woman who was both his employee and patient, he testified Monday.

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A patient - physician relationship exists when a physician serves a patient ’s medical needs. However, in certain circumstances a limited patient - physician relationship may be created without the patient ’s (or surrogate’s) explicit agreement.

In fact, once the physician - patient relationship is established, the physician must continue to provide care to the patient to avoid allegations of abandonment until one of the follow occurs

The specific details of the allegations and an agreed statement of facts were laid out in exhibits submitted to the tribunal. However, the exhibits were not made available to reporters or the public. The hearing itself was open to the public, but the tribunal granted a request by Maritz’s lawyer to close portions of the proceedings whenever details about Maritz’s relationship with one of the patients arose during testimony.

Maritz’s lawyer acknowledged there will be some sort of penalty for admission of some allegations, but said Maritz denies another allegation that he breached one of the conditions imposed on him related to prescribing medication while unsupervised.

The tribunal also heard from a Crowsnest Pass anesthetist who has acted as his workplace “monitor” for the past year. One of the conditions imposed on Maritz by the college was that a monitor be present in his interactions with male patients. Another condition is that he cannot see any female patients.

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The historical model for the physician - patient relationship involved patient dependence on the physician 's professional authority. Believing that the patient would benefit from the physician 's actions, a paternalistic model of care developed.

The anesthetist told the hearing that he has confidence Maritz could resume practising medicine without the conditions.

The hearing is expected to continue Tuesday.

Blairmore is in the southwest corner of Alberta in Crowsnest Pass, about 260 km south of Calgary.

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