Is it ever OK to hug your patient?

Whatever you do, ensure you explain it in your notes

GPs are being told to err on the side of caution and avoid hugging patients who may need comforting.

hug cartoon

The advice comes from a leading UK medical defence organisation that has issued a gentle reminder to GPs to tread carefully and try to avoid this type of physical contact.

In her online blog, Dr Ellie Mein, a medicolegal adviser at MDU, acknowledges that doctors must be able to comfort their patients and show compassion, but she cautions that hugging can easily be misconstrued. 

“Just because you are a member of a caring profession, this doesn't mean you are obliged to