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the Oath of Hippocrates

I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this covenant:

To reckon him who taught me this Art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him, and relieve his necessities if required; to look upon his offspring on the same footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this Art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the law of medicine, but no one else.

I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.

I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a women an abortive remedy. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art.

I will not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by such men as are practitioners of this work.

Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further, from the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves.

Whatever, in connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret.

While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and practice of the Art, respected by all men, in all times. But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
I like it.
Nov. 11th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
the times...
I can only imagine the culture, environment, and feeling of the times that cultivated this guiding philosophy. Greek culture, without the benefit of the internet, electronics, or the internal combustion engine, had progressed to a high level of functioning.
So as not to romanticize their setting, for sure some matters were not quite right, as in ours, but these few paragraphs are rather impressive.
Nov. 11th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Re: the times...
Yeah, it is pretty cool that Hippocrates stated so clearly the ethics of a physician in his time. The only part I don't get is "I will not cut persons laboring under the stone". What does that mean??
Nov. 11th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re: the times...
dunno, but I suppose some Greek academic might. Supposing it has something to do with the "trades," or a cultural understanding of the times.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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