Delaware is absurdly strict already when it comes to regulating consensual relationships between therapists and patients. They cannot have sexual relationships for 3 years after the professional relationship ends without risking losing their license. That is of course absurdity. 6 months is more than enough cooling off period We should be moving toward respecting adults and their choices. Representative Williams introduced HB 130. She must be jealous of Dr. Zoe Hart so she introduced the jail Zoe Hart bill. (See the popular show Hart of Dixie). The popular show is perfect the illustration for my point that health professionals are just people. No one would pass a law like this for lawyers, plumbers, ski instructors, mechanics, ministers, or real estate brokers. The idea that the aftermath of criminal activity on rare occasions should be used to criminalize legitimate relationships is absurd. Punish rapists not daters.
A state that cannot distinguish between adults striking up a relationship on their own terms and predatory relationships. Is a state that is astonishingly inept. We see this with zero tolerance laws that punish kids for taking tylenol at the same level as crack in schools or drawing a gun and clipping it out as if it is a real one. Now we are taking that same mentality so that if you and the LPN who gives you a shot every year at the doctor’s office cannot date even if you don’t remember each other from the office. It is not the right of government to determine with whom you enter a relationship as an adult. The nature of that relationship does not matter. Adults can have professional and personal relationships with the same person. Adults do not need the government protecting them from their physical therapist, dental hygienist, nurse, or doctor. They are not predators and sex is not evil. If you are lucky enough to find someone to marry that you love, it is not bad that they are a professional and you can trust them if anything happens.
Liberals seem obsessed with sex. They want to proclaim openness to everything no matter how abnormal, but put barriers in front of relationships they don’t like no matter how normal. Governor Markell had a choice between sanity and insanity. He choose sanity.
Governor Markell framed the issue well and it is worth repeating.
“House Bill 130 would make all sexual contact, including consensual sexual contact between two adults, a Class F felony punishable by up to three years in prison and registration for twenty-five years as a Tier II Sex Offender, which results in a mandatory loss of professional license, if one of those adults is a health care professional and the other is a patient being treated by the health care professional. Notably, the same sexual contact, if non-consensual and offensive to the adult victim, is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail. The law as written could apply in a situation where, for example, a general practitioner starts dating a patient who comes in for annual or bi-annual physical exams, perhaps sees a nurse practitioner in between appointments for a flu shot, and may occasionally call for a refill of allergy medication. If the doctor failed to remove the patient from the patient list the moment the relationship began, that relationship could fall within the “course of treatment” to which this statute applies. House Bill 130 does not distinguish between situations where there is consent and no consent, or account for the fact that a doctor-patient relationship may be different in one context (e.g. a mental health counselor) than another (e.g. a dental hygienist). For these reasons, I veto House Bill 130 and return it to the House of Representatives without my signature,” wrote the Governor in a statement delivered to the House of Representatives.