Pros And Cons Of Gift Giving And Giving In Healthcare

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Gift giving and receiving in healthcare is controversial. Some companies don’t allow any form of receiving gifts and lunches from pharmaceutical representatives. A less discussed aspect of gift giving in the healthcare field is that of patient gift giving. Patients would bring gifts to my office weekly, even more so around the holidays. I used to see a patient every Friday for two years. One day he brought each of my coworkers and I a homemade wooden pot holder with his initials on it. He was so excited to give us the gifts we couldn’t say no. But should we have? In most cases I believe accepting gifts from patients is beneficial for both the patient and the healthcare workers, but in certain cases accepting certain gifts is unacceptable. There…show more content…
Beneficence and non-maleficence in healthcare is doing the most good and least amount of harm for a patient.2 These are two of the ethical principles which relate to the issue of gift giving in healthcare. Regarding gifts from patients, doing what is best for the patient could mean either accepting or declining the gift depending on the situation. Each provider should weigh the pros and cons, downstream effects, and appropriateness of taking the gift. If the patient will be offended if a provider rejects their gift this may be doing harm to the patient. If not taking the gift will damage the provider-patient relationship then maybe the provider should take the gift in some instances. If an impoverished patient is offering their provider a 500$ present for Christmas, maybe taking this gift would do more harm than good to accept. In this case, a polite decline while still maintaining a good provider-patient relationship would be the best course of action. Autonomy is the right to make one’s own choices.2 With regard to patient autonomy, patients have the right to express their gratitude. If this gratitude is in the form of gift giving then that is their decision to show gratitude in that…show more content…
Whereas a patient who never brings gifts to the provider may have to wait like everyone else.
These two options are not the only choices available to the healthcare providers.
Providers can always accept gifts and then donate them to charities. One way a hospital or provider could set this up is by having a box where patients or coworkers wishing to give providers a gift for the holidays could chose to donate the gift or give the gift to the doctor.
That way the patient has an option of showing their appreciation to the doctor specifically or to the provider by donating to the provider’s chosen charity. They can share the gift with the

whole staff, for example cookies brought in on Christmas Eve by a patient could be put in the breakroom for everyone to have an uplifting treat.
Overall, I believe common sense needs to be used when deciding to accept or decline a gift from a patient. A provider should be able to discriminate an acceptable gift from an unacceptable one. Each individual case needs to be examined thoughtfully and the principles

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