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Saturday, June 26, 2004
THE OATH OF HIPPOCRATES, SIXTH CENTURY B.C.
I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepias and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgement this oath and this covenant;
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male linage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without feed and covenant.
To give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instrcuted me to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else.
I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgement; I will keep them from harm and injustice.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an aborted remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life from my art.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief, and in particular of sexual relations with both male and female persons, be they free or slaves.
What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment of even outside of the treatments in regard to the lief of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.
If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honoured with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely may the opposite of all this be my lot.
I have had three personal ideals. One, to do the day's work well...The second ideal has been to act the golden rule...towards my professional brethren and towards the patients committed to my care. And the third has been to cultivate such a measure of equanimity as would enable me to bear success with himility, the affection of my friends without pride, and to be ready when the day of sorrow and grief came, to meet it with the courage befitting a man...and if the fight is for principle and justice, even when failure seems certain, where many have failed before, cling to your ideal... -William Osler (1849-1919)
Suffer not thy mouth to condemn when something happens to a physician, for everyone has his evil day..... -Issac Israeli (9th-10th century)
Medicine is an art which is difficult to master! If one does not receive a divine guidance from God, he will not be able to understand the musterious points... A physician should, therefore be a scholar, mastering all the medical literature, and working carefully and tirelessly.
A great doctor, when treatment a patient, should make himself quiet and determined. He should not have covetous desire. He should have bowels of mercy on the sick and pledge himself to relieve suffering among all classes: Aristocrat or commoner, poor or rich, aged or young, beautiful or ugly, enemy or friend, native or foreigner, and educated or uneducated, all are to be treted equally. He should look upon the misery of the patient as if it were his own and be anxious to relieve the stress, disregarding his own inconveniences, such as night-call, bad weather, hunger, tiredness, etc. Even foul cases should be treated withouth the slightest antipathy. One who follows this great principle is a great doctor; other, he is a great thief!
A physician should be respectable yet not talkative. It is a great mistake to boast of himself and slander other physicians. - An Ancient Chinese Code