The Hippocratic Oath in the Modern World

Subject: Medical Ethics
Pages: 1
Words: 285
Reading time:
< 1 min

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath by medics and young specialists ready to take up their duties. The text establishes the ethical principles of behavior of the prospective specialist. However, the Hippocratic Oath in its original form has long since been disused. Many matters of the document no longer have authority and sense in the current realities of health care.

The oath speaks of obligations to teachers, colleagues, and students, promises of non-harm, and an opposing attitude towards euthanasia and abortion. The document refers to the refusal of medical workers from intimate relationships with patients and the unconditional obedience to medical secrecy. The oath emphasizes the urgent need for the ethical qualities of a doctor: the doctor must be honest, not succumb to corruption and treat all patients exceptionally equally. Unfortunately, medical practice is full of cases where the patient may suffer due to the negligence and unprofessionalism of the doctor. In such cases, only the law and valid consumer protection legislation can fairly assist the victim. Such an oath without legal confirmation is no longer enough. In addition, some clauses of the oath, for example, on abortion, are no longer relevant in many countries. Many governments are considering the possibility of euthanasia of severely ill patients at the legislative level. This decision also contradicts the principal matter of the paper.

In most countries, doctors are gradually moving away from the Hippocratic Oath. They either change the oath to fit their healthcare system or abandon it entirely. The best solution is to treat this list of principles as a reminder of the necessary ethical components of a good specialist. However, the success of the treatment process depends solely on the doctor himself and his conscientiousness.