Hippocratic Oath

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Hippocratic Oath

Original Version (425 BC):
“I swear by Apollo the Physician and by Asclepius and by Health and Panacea and by all the gods as well as goddesses, making them judges to bring the following oath and written covenant to full- fillment, in accordance with my power and my judgment;

To regard him who has taught me this techne as equal to my parents, and to share, in partnership, my livelihood with him and to give him a share when he is in need of necessities, and to judge the offspring (coming) from him equal to (my) male siblings, and to teach them this techne, should they desire to learn (it), without fee and written covenant, and to give a share both of rules and of lectures, and of all the rest of learning, to my sons and to the (sons) of him who has taught me and to the pupils who have both make a written contract and sworn by a medical convention but by no other.

And I will use regimens for the benefit of the ill in accordance with my ability and my judgment, but from (what is) to their harm or injustice I will keep (them)

And I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked (for it), nor will I suggest the way to such a counsel. And likewise I will not give a woman a destructive pessary.

And in a pure and holy way I will guard my life and my techne.

I will not cut, and certainly not those suffering from stone, but I will cede (this) to men (who are) practitioners of this activity.

Into as many houses as I may enter, I will go for the benefit of the ill, while being far from all voluntary and destructive injustice, especially from sexual acts both upon women's bodies and upon men's, both of the free and of the slaves.

And about whatever I may see or hear in treatment, or even without treatment, in the life of human beings -- things that should not ever be blurted out outside -- I will remain silent, holding such things to be unutterable (sacred, not to be divulged). If I render this oath fulfilled, and if I do not blur and confound it (making it to no effect) may it be (granted) to me to enjoy the benefits both of life and of techne, being held in good repute among all human beings for time eternal. If, however, I transgress and purjure myself, the opposite of these”

Updated Version:
The practice of medicine is a privilege, which carries important responsibilities. All doctors should observe the core values of the profession which centre on the duty to help sick people and to avoid harm. I promise that my medical knowledge will be used to benefit people's health. They are my first concern. I will listen to them and provide the best care I can. I will be honest, respectful and compassionate towards patients. In emergencies, I will do my best to help anyone in medical need. I will make every effort to ensure that the rights of all patients are respected, including vulnerable groups who lack means of making their needs known, be it through immaturity, mental incapacity, imprisonment or detention or other circumstance. My professional judgement will be exercised as independently as possible and not be influenced by political pressures nor by factors such as the social standing of the patient. I will not put personal profit or advancement above my duty to patients. I recognise the special value of human life but I also know that the prolongation of human life is not the only aim of healthcare. Where abortion is permitted, I agree that it should take place only within an ethical and legal framework. I will not provide treatments which are pointless or harmful or which an informed and competent patient refuses. I will ensure patients receive the information and support they want to make decisions about disease prevention and improvement of their health. I will answer as truthfully as I can and respect patients' decisions unless that puts others at risk of harm. If I cannot agree with their requests, I will explain why. If my patients have limited mental awareness, I will still encourage them to participate in decisions as much as they feel able and willing to do so. I will do my best to maintain confidentiality about all patients. If there are overriding reasons which prevent my keeping a
patient's confidentiality I will explain them. I will recognise the limits of my knowledge and seek advice from colleagues when necessary. I will acknowledge my mistakes. I will do my best to keep myself and colleagues informed of new developments and ensure that poor standards or bad practices are exposed to those who can improve them. I will show respect for all those with whom I work and be ready to share my knowledge by teaching others what I know. I will use my training and professional standing to improve the community in which I work. I will treat patients equitably and support a fair and humane distribution of health resources. I will try to influence positively authorities whose policies harm public health. I will oppose policies which breach internationally accepted standards of human rights. I will strive to change laws which are contrary to patients' interests or to my professional ethics.

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