(Veterinary Board of Governors)
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: The rules establish a clear definition of sexual misconduct for veterinary practitioners. The rules will help health care providers regulated by the veterinary board of governors avoid sexual misconduct and educate consumers about what should be expected from veterinary health care providers.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.92.030 and 18.130.050 (1), (12).
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 06-22-099 on November 1, 2006.
Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: The language in proposed WAC 246-934-100 [(1)](g) was amended to clarify that the dating referred to in this section is dating of a romantic or sexual nature as opposed to arranging a date or meeting related to a business or practice matter.
A final cost-benefit analysis is available by contacting Judy Haenke, P.O. Box 47868, Olympia, WA 98594-7868 [98504-7868], phone (360) 236-4947, fax (360) 586-4359, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 3, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 3, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: December 11, 2006.
Camilo O. de Guzman, DVM
Chair, Veterinary Board of Governors
STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
(2) "Board" means the veterinary board of governors.
(3) "Health care information" means any health care information, in any form that is associated with the key party, the patient or the health care of a patient.
(4) "Health care provider" means an individual applying for a credential or credentialed as a veterinary medication clerk, veterinary technician or veterinarian.
(5) "Key party" means persons who would be reasonably expected to play a significant role in the health care decisions for the patient and includes the owner, human companion, guardian, manager or trainer.
(6) "Legitimate health care purpose" means activities for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and personal care of patients, including palliative care, as consistent with community standards of practice for the profession. The activity must be within the scope of practice of the health care provider.
(7) "Patient" means an animal under the care and treatment of a health care provider.
(8) "Veterinary medication clerk" means a person who is registered under chapter 18.92 RCW to practice as a veterinary medication clerk.
(9) "Veterinary technician" means a person who is registered under chapter 18.92 RCW to practice as a veterinary technician.
(10) "Veterinarian" means a person who is licensed under chapter 18.92 RCW to practice veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry in the state of Washington.
(a) Sexual intercourse;
(b) Touching the breasts, genitals, anus or any sexualized body part;
(c) Rubbing against a key party for sexual gratification;
(d) Kissing, touching, fondling or caressing of a romantic or sexual nature;
(e) Encouraging masturbation or other sex act in the presence of the health care provider;
(f) Masturbation or other sex act by the health care provider in the presence of the key party;
(g) Suggesting the possibility of a sexual or romantic dating relationship;
(h) Discussing the sexual history, preferences or fantasies of the health care provider;
(i) Any behavior, gestures, or expressions that may reasonably be interpreted as seductive or sexual;
(j) Making statements regarding the key party's body, sexual history, or sexual orientation;
(k) Any verbal or physical contact which may reasonably be interpreted as sexually demeaning;
(l) Taking sexually explicit photographs or films of a key party;
(m) Showing a key party sexually explicit photographs.
(2) A health care provider shall not:
(a) Offer to provide health care services or professional knowledge in exchange for sexual favors;
(b) Use health care information to contact the key party for the purpose of engaging in sexual misconduct or to meet the health care provider's sexual needs.
(3) A health care provider shall not engage, or attempt to engage, in the activities listed in subsection (1) of this section with a former key party when:
(a) There is a significant likelihood that the key party will seek or require additional services from the health care provider; or
(b) The provider uses or exploits the trust, knowledge, influence or emotions derived from the professional relationship; or
(c) The health care provider uses or exploits privileged information or access to privileged information to meet the health care provider's sexual needs.
(4) When evaluating whether a health care provider is attempting to engage, or has engaged, in sexual misconduct, the board may consider factors, including but not limited to:
(a) Documentation of a formal termination and the circumstances of termination of the health care provider-patient relationship;
(b) Transfer of care to another health care provider;
(c) Duration of the health care provider-patient relationship;
(d) Amount of time that has passed since the last health care services were rendered to the patient;
(e) Communication between the health care provider and the key party between the last health care services rendered and commencement of the personal relationship;
(f) Nature of the patient's health condition during and since the professional relationship;
(g) The key party's emotional dependence and vulnerability; and
(h) Normal revisit cycle for the profession and service.
(5) These rules do not prohibit:
(a) Providing health care services in case of emergency where the services cannot or will not be provided by another health care provider;
(b) Contact that is necessary for legitimate health care purpose and that meets the standard of care appropriate to the profession; or
(c) Providing health care services for a legitimate health care purpose to an animal patient for a key party who is in a preexisting, established personal relationship with a health care provider where there is no evidence of, or potential for, exploiting the key party.
(6) Sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal as defined in RCW 16.52.205 is unprofessional conduct. Violation of RCW 16.52.205 will be reported to the appropriate jurisdiction.