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Doctor’s affair isn’t malpractice, judge says

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A family doctor did not commit malpractice by having an affair with a patient's wife, a judge ruled.

Common Pleas Judge Sandra Mazer Moss dismissed a lawsuit brought by a patient who said he told Dr. Jonathan E. Ostroff in a 1998 office visit that he was having marital problems that were causing him anxiety.

Ostroff neglected to tell Walter Long about his affair with Long's wife, Roseanne, according to the lawsuit. The couple divorced the following year, according to the judge.

Many jurisdictions have recognized that a sexual relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient can constitute malpractice, but the judge said there was no therapist-patient relationship between the family doctor and either of the Longs.