You have been taking care of a patient admitted with palpitations from a panic attack He is somewhat hypomanic with pressured speech, anxiety, and flight of ideas After several days he is feeling much better and he is extremely grateful for your help He is quite wealthy and he offers to borrow five million dollars from the bank “to help you with your research.” What should you tell him?
a. “I accept!”
b. "Thank you very much, but I cannot accept it”
c. “I accept, but only for a study of bipolar disorder.”
d. “I would be happy to take your money, but I must have you evaluated by psychiatry first.”
B - Accept the gift.
Small gifts from patients of limited value are ethically acceptable. Food, plants, and small
articles of clothing such as a scarf are all acceptable. Refusing such signs of gratitude would
be hurtful to the doctor/patient relationship if they are a sign of the good relationship with
you. Gifts can never be tied to a specific expectation of care such as a particular prescription
or the successful completion of paperwork such as disability forms. There is no reporting or
disclosure requirement for small gifts of nominal value.