According to ABC television, just because it is summer does not mean sunny skies and walks on the beach. So I must resurrect from my break and continue blogging. On June 3, 2013, the season premiere of Mistresses aired on ABC. The love triangle between Olivia, Fitz, and Millie has ignited a storyline for all third parties of extramarital affairs. While the drama offers all the ingredients for sensationalized television (i.e. sex from the very beginning to the very end), thanks to attorney Savannah (Alyssa Milano’s character) there was a brief moment of consciousness.
Yunjin Kim plays Karen, a therapist sexually involved with a patient suffering from a terminal illness. And of course the patient is married. While the R&B singer Fantasia learned the hard way that an affair with a married man could lead to a court battle, Karen’s bigger concern is losing her livelihood by committing medical malpractice.
A malpractice claim stems from the personal injury tort of negligence. It requires a duty to exercise professional and competent care, and a breach of that duty that results in injury. While I am not a therapist, in the legal world successful therapy sessions create the presumption that the patient opened up about insecurities, feelings, joys, and sorrows. In doing so, the patient becomes vulnerable which can lead to feelings and romance. This begs the question of whether the feelings were genuine or whether the therapist took advantage of a successful session. And the argument of being soulmates is likely not enough to get past the presumption that a romantic relationship stemmed from the therapist’s breach of her duty not to take advantage of such vulnerability.
But I am not implying that a married man gets a pass because his “mistress” (or lover if you prefer) is his therapist. He did make a commitment to his wife to remain faithful (at least in some states adultery is grounds for divorce) and he breached that commitment. So who is more or less at fault for his infidelity?