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The Hippocratic Oath For Health Care Providers

Why is the Hippocratic Oath important to you as a patient?

Hippocratic Oath

The Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath

Caduceus imageUpon graduation from medical school, many medical students take a modern version of the oath written by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and is used in many medical schools today.

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by new physicians to protect all life, to hold in highest regard one's teachers, to recognize one's limitations, and to renounce self-interest in the treatment of patients. Certain values inherent in the Hippocratic Oath are echoed in modern views of professionalism. Such attributes continue to define modern expectations of physicians and medical students alike, Other views found in the Hippocratic Oath, such as those on abortion and surgical practice are not consistent with contemporary beliefs in modern Western secular societies.

The modern Hippocratic Oath goes as follows:

  • I SWEAR in the presence of the Almighty and before my family, my teachers and my peers that according to my ability and judgment I will keep this Oath and Stipulation.
  • 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.
  • I WILL FOLLOW that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing nor perform the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.
  • WITH PURITY, HOLINESS AND BENEFICENCE I will pass my life and practice my art. Except for the prudent correction of an imminent danger, I will neither treat any patient nor carry out any research on any human being without the valid informed consent of the subject or the appropriate legal protector thereof, understanding that research must have as its purpose the furtherance of the health of that individual. Into whatever patient setting I enter, I will go for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption and further from the seduction of any patient.
  • WHATEVER IN CONNECTION with my professional practice or not in connection with it I may see or hear in the lives of my patients which ought not be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, 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 the practice of the art and science of medicine with the blessing of the Almighty and respected by my peers and society, but should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse by my lot.

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