Intended for healthcare professionals


US doctors told to steer clear of “grateful patient” hospital fundraising because of ethical concerns

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 26 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2224
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Doctors in the US have been advised to avoid engaging in fundraising with their patients or patients’ families—a practice known as “grateful patient” fundraising—on behalf of their institutions, as it can warp the patient-physician relationship.1

The advice from the American College of Physicians came in the form of a position paper by the college’s Ethics, Professionalism, and Human Rights Committee, which called the practice “ethically problematic” and warned it can lead patients to expect “preferential treatment” or put “conscious or unconscious” pressure on patients to donate.

Physicians …

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