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Hippocrates with Hippocratic oath.

Hippocratic oath with god of medicine Asclepius.

Hippocratic oath , Hippocates father of medicine, asclepeion of Epidaurus Ancient Greece.
Gold art, physician’s oath , doctor’s gift.
The hippocratic oath or the oath of Hippocrates with Hippocrates, father of medicine.

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by phycisians, doctor’s etc from the ancient times. It is the most known text of Greek classical medical literature worldwide. It is known as a moral code for ethical practice in medicine, established according to the ideals of hippocrates and his school.
In its original form, it requires a new physician or doctor to swear, by the healing gods Apollo, Asclepius and others, to hold specific ethical standards. Oath of Hippocrates is often used as a physician’s oath, or doctor’s oath in many medical schools.
Hippocrates is often called the father of medicine in Western medicine and civilazation. Both Plato and Aristotle spoke of Hippocrates with great respect and it appears that he was widely known even during his own lifetime.
During Byzantine Empire (sometimes referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire) we have a 12th-century Byzantine manuscript of the Hippocratic Oath.
The original oath was written in Greek, and is included in the Hippocratic corpus, a collection of around 60 early Ancient Greek medical works associated with the physician Hippocrates and his teachings. The entire Hippocratic Corpus was first printed as a unit in 1525. This edition was edited by Fabius Calvus in Rome. Another edition was next year, from the in Vevice (1526). A significant edition was that of Emile Littre, with French translation of the Hippocratic Corpus.
A document known as the Oath of Hippocrates appeared in 1948, when the newly organized World Medical Association (WMA) adopted the Declaration of Geneva. In 1991, 47 U.S. medical schools used it (Dickstein et al.). “The Oath of Hippocrates,” holds the American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics (1996 edition), “has remained in Western civilization as an expression of ideal conduct for the physician.”
Nearly all medical schools incorporate some form of professional medical oath into their graduation ceremonies.
The oldest and most popular of these oaths is the Hippocratic Oath, composed more than 2,400 years ago. Over the centuries, it has been rewritten often in order to suit the values of different cultures influenced by classical medicine. Contrary to popular belief, the Hippocratic Oath is not required by most modern medical schools, although some have adopted modern versions that suit many in the profession in the 21st century.
On the other hand, in a recent issue of the journal Science the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Sir Joseph Rotblat, proposes a Hippocratic oath for scientists, an oath, or pledge, initiated by the Pugwash Group in the United States (Science 286, 1475 1999).

Do scientists need an equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath to ensure ethical conduct?
In the Asclepieion of Epidaurus in ancient Greece, three large marble boards dated back to 350 BC, preserve the names, case histories, complaints, and cures of about 70 patients who came to the temple with a problem and shed it there.
Some surgical procedures such as the opening of an abdominal abscess or the removal of traumatic foreign material, are realistic enough to have taken place, but with the patient in a dream-like state known as “enkoimesis” (Greek: ἐγκοίμησις) or a formal anesthesia, induced with the help of substances such as opium.

For the Hippocratic IDEAL see:

sources : The Sheridan Libraries Johns Hopkins University. .NOVA is produced by WGBH Boston.
The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal). U.S. National Library of Medicine Bethesda.

For the Cult of Asclepius and the classical traditions of the healing qualities of a physician and the healing power of the personal bond between doctor and patient, traditions that should not be forgotten by the modern doctors, see:


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