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Research Letter
October 23/30, 2018

Medical Crowdfunding for Scientifically Unsupported or Potentially Dangerous Treatments

Author Affiliations
  • 1Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Shepherd Center, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2Division of Medical Ethics, New York University School of Medicine, New York
JAMA. 2018;320(16):1705-1706. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10264

Medical crowdfunding involves using social media platforms to appeal for help in paying for medical care. The largest medical crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe, reported that all campaigns raised $3 billion by 2016, an increase from $1 billion in 2015.1 Although medical crowdfunding campaigns can fill insurance gaps, they can also raise money for scientifically unsupported, ineffective, or potentially dangerous treatments. We quantified crowdfunding activity for 5 such treatments.

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