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December 9, 1998

Should Physicians Accept Gifts From Patients?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.

JAMA. 1998;280(22):1944-1946. doi:10.1001/jama.280.22.1944

Considering that nearly every physician has received a gift from a patient, it is surprising that there are no established conventions or guidelines about this custom. The topic of gifts from patients to physicians is not addressed in professional oaths or in statements by the American Medical Association,1 the American College of Physicians,2 or Beauchamp and Childress' Principles of Biomedical Ethics.3