Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hippocratic Oath

Hippocratic Oath is an ancient Greek document that is simply entitles Oath. Its age is debated; 400 BCE is a reasonable estimate when it was written.

At that time, Hippocrates was led the academy at Cos, documenting his patient encounters, and teaching his students the art of medicine. The Hippocratic Oath is part of the Coprus Hippocraticum, and anthology of medical writings by several authors, some of whom were Hippocrates students.

Though there are many versions, the basic tenets remain the same: to treat the ill to the best of one’s ability, to preserve a patient’s privacy and to teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation.

The Oath was rarely mentioned during the first 1500 years of its existence. In the first century, Scribonius Largus referred to Hippocrates as the founder of the ‘calling ((of medicine)’ and to a single passage against abortion in a Hippocratic Oath. The oldest papyrus of the complete oath dates to 300 CE, about 700 years after it was written.

A Reading of the oath could lead one to assume that the medical profession had an organized structure at the time of Hippocrates, with accepted rules of deportment and behavior.

Hippocrates was born on the Greek island of Kos about 460 BC, the son of the healer, Heraclides. He is known to have practiced empirical medicine. Such an experiential method was the optimal mode before the advent of the experimental sciences in the nineteenth century. Hippocrates left behind a series of writings that comprise the earliest known Greek medical texts.
Hippocratic Oath

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