Should healthcare professionals accept gifts from patients? Small gifts? Big ones? How about multi-million dollar gifts?
That’s the topic tackled in this opinion piece by bioethicist Art Caplan: Heiress’ gifts to medical workers raise thorny ethical issues.
The gifts in question in the case Caplan discusses are very large indeed. Most health professionals will never have to give serious consideration to the ethics of accepting a million dollar gift. But thinking through the ethics of a case like this one is a good way to focus discussion on the principles behind the need to maintain boundaries.