All along Medicine feels the need to establish rules and codes of behavior to protect the patient. This implies that each healthcare professional lays oneself on the line in a true, open and steady way all the time: a task that is not easy, as it is shown by the lack or deficiency of communication with the sick. Then the main difficulties appear in the so-called "grey zones" of the relationship between physicians and patients. For example, when psychiatric pathology is linked to crime situations, as it often does, there is a conflict between the safeguard of the patient and the need to have protection measures at social level. A physician working with psychiatric patients is often in a situation to take decisions that influence his freedom of choice: for example, think of cases at risk of suicide, drug prescriptions that can influence the life quality in medical and social sense (i.e. antipsychotics), separation from abusing families. Even events like falling in love or sexuality between physician and patient move to the foreground the issue of the personal relationship within such a complex dyad. To face these difficulties, it is essential to encourage the communication and the therapeutic alliance based on mutual respect and trust. This means that the healthcare professional has not only to act in an ethical way, but he has to be ethic as a person.
Keywords: Ethics, psychiatry, relationship physician-patient