My friend is a doctor. He was complaining to me the other day about a patient who asked for the discount, even though she was late and cancelled appointments.

On the discount, I wanted to point out that there is nothing immoral or unethical with asking. I was interested in the significant number of friends who say they give discounts, including the 20% discount for cash (which when I was a patient would be very happy to avail myself of if I knew of it). I'm sure everyone has asked for a discount on occasion in buying some product or service.

Further, you have to admire the bravery of the patient asking for a discount. I myself would be afraid to ask it of a physician because of fear the physician would somehow take it out on me in the medical treatment. To him and other docs outraged about the discount request, I say you don't have to grant it, but ethically you should assure the patient (especially after what the MA reported to her) that you harbor no hard feelings and it will not affect your medical care of her.


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