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Article
January 17, 1948

REBATES, KICKBACKS, COMMISSIONS AND MEDICAL ETHICS

JAMA. 1948;136(3):176-177. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890200030008

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Abstract

The pride of medicine as a profession has always been its freedom from the taint of barter and trade in the sick patient. Physicians must give their wholehearted devotion to the care of the patient; no other objective must be given precedence over considerations of the patient's need. Nevertheless, the charge is made that some physicians have forgotten the ethical principles that prevail in the relationship between doctor and patient and have selected the surgeon willing to make the greatest division of fees rather than the one best suited to perform the operation. Ophthalmologists have sent the patient for lenses to opticians who returned a proportion of the fee rather than to the optician who rendered the highest quality of optical service. Occasionally orthopedic surgeons and others who utilize the work of the maker of braces, splints and elastic bandages have been willing to accept commissions from such manufacturers and

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