(c) If they interact with patients on the Internet, physicians must maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship in accordance with professional ethical guidelines, just as they would in any other context.
The recommendations follow a series of high-profile cases where healthcare staff sexually abused patients.
The proposals, the first of their kind, are expected to go before ministers in June, reported Nursing Standard.
The guidance, issued yesterday, tells doctors they still cannot initiate 'sexual' or 'improper' relationships with current patients, but says they can date former patients, as long as they give "careful consideration" to certain factors.
The updated guidelines outlined in the doctors' handbook Good Medical Practice, and which come into force next month, state: "If you are considering whether to pursue a personal relationship with a former patient, you must use your professional judgment.
Like the AMA, Colorado doesn't specify how long after a romantic relationship ceases a medical one might begin, stating only that they must not be "concurrent." Other states address — or do not address — this issue with varying degrees of explicitness.