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This consultation ended 30 September 2015

Update: August 14, 2015

Read a message from the CDSBC Board about the Boundaries in the Practitioner-Patient Relationship consultation >>

CDSBC Invites Feedback on Boundaries in the Practitioner-Patient Relationship

Updated: July 8, 2015

The CDSBC Board has approved the draft document Boundaries in the Practitioner-Patient Relationship for public consultation.

The consultation period was open from June 22 - September 30, 2015.

Upon final approval by the Board, this document will be published as part of the CDSBC Standards & Guidelines series.


The Health Professions Act and CDSBC Bylaws prohibit professional misconduct of a sexual nature, which includes sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual relations between a practitioner and a patient.

However the issue of boundaries between practitioners and their patients is not confined to matters of sexual conduct. The Board has considered the broader question of when is it appropriate – or is not appropriate – to enter into a practitioner-patient relationship.

This document sets out the ethical obligation of registrants to ensure that treatment is appropriate, and that all three of the following elements are in place:

  1. objectivity of care by the practitioner;
  2. full, free and informed patient consent; and
  3. patient autonomy

These principles are enshrined in CDSBC's Code of Ethics.

Aside from restrictions currently set out in the Health Professions Act and the College Bylaws, the decision of whether or not it is appropriate to treat a patient ultimately rests with the dentist.

How to submit feedback

Feedback must be received no later than September 30, 2015 and can be submitted in one of two ways:

  • By email: (include the word “Boundaries” in the subject line)
  • By mail: CDSBC Board, c/o Registrar's Office, 500 - 1765 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 5C6

Consultation and Next Steps

The consultation is open to members of the public, registrants and CDSBC’s partner organizations.

Organizations that are being invited to comment include the Ministry of Health, all health regulatory colleges in BC, the First Nations Health Authority, UBC Dentistry, the British Columbia Dental Association, Certified Dental Assistants of BC, Doctors of BC, dental component societies in B.C. and provincial dental regulators across Canada.

When the consultation period ends, staff will collate the feedback for consideration by the Board. The intent is to submit the final document to the Board for final approval later in 2015. It will then be published as part of the standards & guidelines series, informing practitioners and the public of CDSBC’s expectations for registrants.