Professional courtesy is the tradition among physicians not to charge for treatment of each other's family. The purpose was to discourage physicians from having members of their own family as patients, as well as to foster bonds among physicians. The custom dates back to Hippocrates.Rathbun, Katharine C., M.D.; Richards, Edward P. III, J.D.; Professional Courtesy; Missouri Medicine; 1998;95:18-20; .
In more recent times the term has also been used to describe the practice by law enforcement officers of not reporting each other for what they consider to be minor violations. Many American law enforcement employees also distribute "family cards" to friends and family to produce at, for example, a traffic stop where an ordinary member of the public would get a ticket. Even serious offences such as drunk driving are subject to professional... Read More