Council has become aware that, when some physicians or clinics are considering accepting a patient who is already seeing another physician, some have required the patient to obtain permission from their current physician. Physicians are reminded of the following form of misconduct:

40. interfering, either directly or indirectly, with the patient's freedom of choice of a physician or a patient's right to consult another physician or other professional;

As a consequence, it would be considered ethically unacceptable to require the permission of another physician to accept a patient. It would be similarly unacceptable for the original physician to refuse such a request. In addition, it is understood that certain physicians or clinics will contact the original physician for information prior to accepting the patient. This may also be ethically questionable until the patient has been accepted into the new practice.