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Ajamil
8th July 09, 03:04 PM
I was at one of the centers my mum works in, and they had the Hippocratic oath up on the wall. I believe it was the original version, quoted from wiki below:

I swear by Apollo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo), the healer, Asclepius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepius), Hygieia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygieia), and Panacea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine); 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.
I will prescribe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_prescription#History) regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primum_non_nocere) to anyone.
I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia), nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pessary) to cause an abortion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion).
But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.
I will not cut for stone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithotomy), even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgery).
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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_intercourse) with women or with 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidentiality) and will never reveal.
If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perjury) from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

It has been updated to this.



I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods, and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art–if they desire to learn it–without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken the oath according to medical law, but to no one else.
I will apply dietic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.
What I may see or hear in the course of treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.
If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.

I was interested in the fact that something usually reduced to "don't knowingly harm a patient" or "give whatever help whenever you can" actually has some more, shall we shay, contentious points.


First, the very beginning is invoking not just Apollo, but all the gods - even in the modern version. I find it interesting that a practical field of work so closely tied in with the scientific method would keep such an ancient custom.


Second, the part on the honor given to a doctor's teacher, along with his sons, I highly doubt anyone follows anymore. Why has this been kept? Aside from medical journals, which part of this paragraph is relevant?


Last, the part on denying abortion would put all MDs who have taken this oath at odds with the US courts.


Why has this not been updated? Are doctors still taking this, and trying to practice their skills by it? Who has come out and said doctors should not be performing abortions because it violates their oath? Certainly this happens with assisted suicide, and I think it's even one of the larger points against such things. Who teaches this craft free of charge to the sons of their teacher? Last, why are we invoking Apollo? Aside from "the hassle" of changing it, what is the sacredness of this?

Edit: Heh, apparently some "modern" versions have this at the beginning:


I swear in the presence of the Almighty and before my family, my teachers and my peers that according to my ability and judgement I will keep this Oath and Stipulation
So we still need to make sure the invisible person is listening, but not Apollo - that's silly.

This version (http://nktiuro.tripod.com/hippocra.htm) also decided to take the second paragraph to mean this:

TO RECKON all who have taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents and in the same spirit and dedication to impart a knowledge of the art of medicine to others. I will continue with diligence to keep abreast of advances in medicine. I will treat without exception all who seek my ministrations, so long as the treatment of others is not compromised thereby, and I will seek the counsel of particularly skilled physicians where indicated for the benefit of my patient.

Virus
8th July 09, 03:21 PM
It has been updated. Many say something like this version now (or nothing at all):

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_modern.html

Cullion
8th July 09, 04:14 PM
A friend's wife is a doctor. She says that doctors here don't actually swear this oath and she has no idea when the last time they did was.

Harpy
8th July 09, 07:25 PM
What kind of hippy doctor are you going to Arjuna?

WarPhalange
8th July 09, 08:20 PM
A friend's wife is a doctor. She says that doctors here don't actually swear this oath and she has no idea when the last time they did was.

What the fuck? And nobody's sued her for malpractice yet?

Ajamil
8th July 09, 11:11 PM
I'm quite healthy and don't have a regular doctor save for the occasional advice from my NP mum. This was up on the wall at the Bloomsburg Family Medical Center.

Shawarma
9th July 09, 04:09 AM
Modern doctors often take a modern oath that doesn't involve stuff like "no abortions" or references to pagan gods.

Quikfeet509
9th July 09, 04:59 AM
This thread is ghey.




But to make it even more so:

http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/rjo0288l.jpg



The Hippocratic oath is a tradition that has jack to do with modern biomedicine.

jkdbuck76
9th July 09, 11:20 AM
There needs to be a clause in there for breast implants.

Until then, no doctor should take that oath.

Dagon Akujin
9th July 09, 02:01 PM
in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.




HA HA HA HA HA!!! Doctors can't have sex. We better brace for the Physician diddly-boy fondling scandal.

Cullion
9th July 09, 04:38 PM
What the fuck? And nobody's sued her for malpractice yet?

Her words 'The idea that doctors still swear some kind of hipocratic oath is a myth.'

socratic
9th July 09, 07:38 PM
Huh. I fell for that one. I always thought there was some kind of oath or pact they had taken which [at least ideologically] prevented them from acting maliciously towards their patients. Now I know it's just the magic of lawsuits.... :(

Cullion
9th July 09, 07:43 PM
Yup. Very few people in our societies are actually bound by the oaths we imagine them to be these days. Most of them are just acting out of professional interest and then spinning it to sound all public-spirited like.

Ajamil
9th July 09, 11:25 PM
A confidence placebo? The man in the gold suit? A fancy head-dress?

socratic
10th July 09, 12:24 AM
Yup. Very few people in our societies are actually bound by the oaths we imagine them to be these days. Most of them are just acting out of professional interest and then spinning it to sound all public-spirited like.

Of course, but I always liked to think doctors were organised enough to have policing bodies to ensure these covenants had swords.

Virus
10th July 09, 02:28 AM
Yup. Very few people in our societies are actually bound by the oaths we imagine them to be these days. Most of them are just acting out of professional interest and then spinning it to sound all public-spirited like.

How do you know this?

Shawarma
10th July 09, 03:47 AM
Agree with Virus. Fairly sure that violating any of the promises you make in the hipporatic oath would result in you losing your license, such as if you denied treatment to people based on personal dislike. That would make it count for something.

socratic
10th July 09, 06:10 AM
Pretty much malpractice is defined by the Hyppocratic Oath so I see no reason for it to not hold weight

Virus
10th July 09, 08:22 AM
No, I'm just wondering how Cullion knows that doctors don't care if they harm someone, as long as their own ass is covered, and are lying about it. That's quite a claim to make about the ethics and morals of an entire profession. Unless it's just his hunch it deserves some sort of evidence.

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