J Med Ethics 38:506-507 doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100738
  • Essay

Gift-giving in the medical student–patient relationship

  1. Yassar Abdullah S Alamri
  1. Correspondence to Yassar Abdullah S Alamri, New Zealand Brain Research Institute, 66 Stewart Street, Central Christchurch, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand; yasao{at}
  1. Contributors YASA is the sole contributor to this essay.

  • Received 17 April 2012
  • Revised 30 April 2012
  • Accepted 2 May 2012
  • Published Online First 30 May 2012

There is paucity in the published literature that provides any ethical guidance guiding gift-giving within the student–patient relationship. This is perhaps because the dynamics of the medical student–patient relationship have not yet been explored as extensively as the doctor–patient relationship. More importantly, however, gift-giving in the doctor–patient relationship has traditionally been from the patient to the doctor and not vice versa. This article examines the literature published in this vicinity reflecting on an encounter with a patient.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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