A physician should only treat someone that she or he can maintain a detached, professional relationship with. Close personal or emotional attachment may cloud the physician’s judgment and result in substandard care.


Failures that may occur when caring for someone who is too close emotionally:

(1) lapses in maintaining a medical record

(2) failure to perform a complete physical exam

(3) failure to ask difficult questions

(4) error in diagnosis, avoiding those that are painful to think about

(5) lapses in prescribing pain medications

(6) error in management


If a lapse occurs and the person is injured as a result, then the physician may suffer extreme regrets. The person may not get support from other family members who may blame the physician for the failure.


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