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Hippocratic Oath

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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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