Ohio Professional Licensure, Credentialing and Defense

Professional Boundary Violations

If you have been accused of a professional boundary violation and are facing a nursing board investigation or allegations of physician misconduct, you need legal counsel who understands what is at stake.

Although our attorneys cannot promise specific results, we can commit to walking you through every step of the license board review process, helping you understand your options and working to resolve this matter as best we can for you.


What is Inappropriate Contact or Relationships with Patients?

Professional boundary violation claims tend to involve obvious recurring patterns between a physician or nurse and a patient where the following two factors exist:

  1. The patient could be considered highly vulnerable. This often occurs with an elderly patient or any patient who is vulnerable due to life circumstances that create isolation and dependency on the medical professional.
  2. There is prolonged patient contact with a specific doctor or nurse. This involves a setting where due to patient care needs, the same medical professional is assigned to the patient over a prolonged period of time. The doctor or nurse then goes out of his or her way to spend time with the patient and often develops a friendship or relationship that extends far beyond professional-patient where unacceptable actions are taken by the medical professional.

In many situations, these two factors overlap and create patterns of behavior that are seen as egregiously crossing the line and taking advantage of the bond of trust the patient placed in the medical professional.

Relationship boundary violations typically involve either financial or other personal gains at the expense of the patient. Sexual misconduct between a physician or patient also constitutes inappropriate contact or a relationship boundary violation.


How Ohio Law and Professional Boards Handle Infractions

It is important to note that under Rule 4723-4-06 (L), Ohio Administrative Code, for purposes of reviewing a potential boundaries violation for nurses, "the client is always presumed incapable of giving free, full, or informed consent to the behaviors by the nurse."

The disciplinary outcome is typically tailored to address the specific violation. For example, permanent practice restrictions may be imposed, removing the nurse from a particular patient population and/or care setting. The Board may also permanently revoke your license, put certain restrictions on your practicing capabilities, or impose other harsh licensure board disciplinary sanctions.

Our attorneys are skilled at handling disciplinary actions that can adversely affect your license, reputation, and livelihood. Contact us for a confidential consultation.