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Hippocratic Oath

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RLDavies
629763.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:41 am Reply with quote

Ion Zone wrote:
Hermes is often sculpted on the backs of the heads of Pharaohs. The snake seen sculpted on the forehead is to protect the third eye.

Klaxon! Hermes is a Greek god, and the idea of the "third eye" comes from Asian philosophies. Neither has any place in native Egyptian mythology or symbolism.

Horus is sometimes shown in sculptures as a falcon standing behind the king, "embracing" the king's head with his wings. The king was considered to be essentially an incarnation of Horus on earth.



But usually the king is shown simply wearing one of the royal headdresses or crowns, each of which has a different connotation.

The cobra on the king's forehead -- actually a part of the headdress or crown -- is a solar goddess of fierce protection. There is also a connection with the cobra goddess named Uadjet or Edjo (or, in older books, Buto), the protective patron deity of the city of Buto and ultimately of Lower Egypt, and thus of the king ruling over Lower Egypt. (The corresponding patron of Upper Egypt is the vulture goddess Nekhebet. Together they are usually referred to as "the Two Ladies".)

After Egypt came under Greek rule, the Greeks and Romans eagerly embraced the interesting new deities and incorporated them into their existing religious systems. They conflated Thoth with Hermes, since both were gods of writing and knowledge. This composite god was adopted into medieval alchemy as Hermes Trismegistus ("thrice-great Hermes"), considered to be the fount of all alchemic wisdom.

 
Ion Zone
629767.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:59 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Horus is sometimes shown in sculptures as a falcon standing behind the king, "embracing" the king's head with his wings. The king was considered to be essentially an incarnation of Horus on earth.


Sorry, I meant Horus, but yes. It's been a while.


Last edited by Ion Zone on Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:03 am; edited 1 time in total

 
stee
629770.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:02 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I will be chaste and religious in my life and in my practice.


Both of these seem to be hopelessly out-of-date now (I appreciate this is slightly ironic when discussing a quote from circa 400BC...), not many doctors I know are un-married, nevermind chaste, or particularly religious.

And, if doctors still have to abide by this oath, does that mean that they must teach their own and their tutors children for free?

Quote:
I will hand on precepts, lectures and all other learning to my sons, to those of my master and to those pupils duly apprenticed and sworn, and to none other.

 
Ion Zone
629771.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:05 am Reply with quote

My doctor is, I think we need an updated Hippocratic oath though, something like "I solemnly swear to help the people and do no wrongful harm."

 
stee
629782.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:24 am Reply with quote

Sounds a little 'Scout's Honour', but I see what you mean!

I think its slightly bizarre that doctors still agree to abide by a set of precepts laid down in a 2400 year old oath.

I mean, could you imagine living your life by a set of rules from over 2000 years ago, handed down by some beardy guy?



ah.....

 
Ion Zone
629785.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:43 am Reply with quote

Oh dear, we do seem to have a surfeit of people who feel they are full of shocking revelations for to enlighten the peasantry. ;-)

I think an oath of some sort, maybe of a couple of stanzas would be a very good idea, I don't think the Hippocratic oath is used in England anymore, but it is is a very good way of keeping doctors honest, as it were.

 
exnihilo
629796.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:31 am Reply with quote

The BMA employs the Declaration of Geneva, an 'updated' version of the Hippocratic Oath. Recent plans to introduce a revised revised version have been dropped for the time being.

 
Ion Zone
629811.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:28 pm Reply with quote

That's good, you can't yell "I swore an oath, dammit!" if nobody makes you swear an oath. :)

 
exnihilo
629866.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:21 pm Reply with quote

Well, it is still an oath, in effect, it's just not the Hippocratic Oath.

 
Ion Zone
629966.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:28 pm Reply with quote

That's a shame, but we can still encompass the spirit of its intentions.

 
RLDavies
630148.  Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:11 am Reply with quote

stee wrote:
And, if doctors still have to abide by this oath, does that mean that they must teach their own and their tutors children for free?

Quote:
I will hand on precepts, lectures and all other learning to my sons, to those of my master and to those pupils duly apprenticed and sworn, and to none other.


Interestingly, this sort of wording is found in a lot of ancient magico-religious texts. It's quite common to have a papyrus describing some sort of ritual or magic spell, concluding with a rubric like "You will speak of this to no-one except your father or your son, for it is a great secret."

Maybe its inclusion in the Hippocratic Oath indicates doctors thinking of themselves as a tightly closed society guarding powerful secrets. (Which is still how they think of themselves, to some degree.)

 
Celebaelin
630154.  Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 am Reply with quote

Plainly there are certain pieces of medical knowledge which could be dangerous. The more people who know about some of the frailties of the human body the greater the chances of the knowledge being abused, or even wrongly applied. Certain of these design flaws pass without mention on the internet (I've looked previously) presumably because the web is monitored and either the sites taken down or access blocked from uk addresses. This isn't a medical conspiracy but a matter of public safety.

 
Ion Zone
630274.  Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:05 pm Reply with quote

The new oath still has the line:

Quote:
I will respect the secrets that are confided in me


Though this is clarified by the amended version:

Quote:
I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;


Though it is likely that there are specific things imparted on medical practitioners they are disallowed from divulging due to their nature.

 
exnihilo
630394.  Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:15 pm Reply with quote

In that instance is it not more about the confidentiality between doctor and patient rather than about the secrets of the craft, as it were?

There is, however, nothing unusual about the oath, as has been said, many professions (and all the old guild/college bases ones) have similar things about protecting the sacred knowledge of their trade, why should flesh mechanics not?

 
RLDavies
630680.  Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:30 pm Reply with quote

Doctors in the US recite the Hippocratic Oath (or an edited version thereof) as a climax of their graduation ceremonies, but it's taken as only symbolic, not in any way legal or binding.

 

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