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Thursday Feb 08, 2018

When is it ethical to accept gifts from patients?

Some believe that accepting gifts from patients can influence a physician's clinical judgment, while others believe that accepting such gifts can enhance the patient-physician relationship. Because there are no clear-cut guidelines, physicians are often uncertain about how to address the issue. Three key considerations can guide your decision-making:

  • Consider the motive behind the gift,
  • Consider the cost or value of the gift,
  • Consider whether you would be comfortable if colleagues knew about the gift.

If you decide not to accept the gift, thank the patient, politely communicate the reasons you cannot accept it, and then assure the patient that this does not change your relationship in any way. Rejecting a gift is never easy, but most patients will understand.


Adapted from "Is It Ethical to Accept Gifts From Patients?"

 

Posted at 03:30PM Feb 08, 2018 by FPM Editors

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