What is the Hippocratic Oath?« Back to Questions List

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath, which each and every doctor has to take, when they graduate from a Medical College. The Oath is historically taken by physicians and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine honestly. It is widely believed to have been written either by Hippocrates, often regarded as the father of western medicine, or by one of his students. Hippocrates_rubens Engraving of Hippocrates by Peter Paul Rubens, 1638 Hippocrates (c. 460 BC – c. 370 BC) was an ancient Greek physician and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the father of western medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other fields that it had traditionally been associated with (notably theurgy and philosophy), thus establishing medicine as a profession. HippocraticOath A 12th-century Byzantine manuscript of the Oath. The Oath has been modified multiple times, in several different countries. One of the most significant revisions is the Declaration of Geneva, first drafted in 1948 by the World Medical Association; it has since been revised several times. While there is currently no legal obligation for medical students to swear an oath upon graduating, 98% of American medical students swear some form of oath, while only 50% of British medical students do. English translation ( One version) I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement: To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art; and that by my teaching, I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons, and to my teacher's sons, and to disciples bound by an indenture and oath according to the medical laws, and no others. I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.
Posted by attemptnwin
Asked on July 17, 2013 1:49 am