Week 4_Oath and Human Body by Catherine Yang

In both Hippocrates’s oaths, it talks about pledges toward the field of medicine/science which is considered as “art” in both oaths. However, one oath is from 400 B.C. with different meanings and labels and the other oath is the modern time oath where it is more condensed and direct to the point. Both oaths respects a patience privacy because both oaths’ swear not do disclose information about what they hear from the patients. On the other hand I spotted many differences. In the 400 B.C. version, he feels that he will impose his knowledge of his art only to his sons, sons of his teachers, and disciples that are following the oath and within the field of medicine. However, in the modern revised version, it says that knowledge should be shared to everyone that would like to follow in the same field, but it is not restricted to certain people. In the 400 B.C. oath, Hippocrates talks about how he will go to people’s houses’ to benefit for the sick; however, I believe modern revised version did not talk about going to a person’s house to heal them, because now days, we go to a doctor’s office or the hospital for checkups and information about our health. In the modern oath, it talks about how art can be related to medicine and science and not just judged by surgery or drugs given to a patient; however, for the 400 B.C. oath, Hippocrates believes that surgery should be left with the practitioners, or the surgeons. Both oaths felt to me a little religious because in the 400 B.C. oath, it talked about how Hippocrates opposed abortion and the committing of adultery and for the modern oath, it talked about how they will not be God in determining life and death situations. In the 400 B.C. oath, Hippocrates says that if he doesn’t violate the oath, he hopes it may grant him to enjoy life and the practice of the art,” but if he violates it may it give him the opposite. While, in the modern one it just states that through swearing to the oath, may it grant them to enjoy life and the art of medicine/science. I felt that there were a lot of repetition of holiness and pureness within the 400 B.C. oath that could be taken out. As for the modern oath, I felt that it was kind of ironic when it talked about choosing not to play God, because the practitioner still decides whether a patient will live or die with diagnosis.

I do not think everything should be followed by doctors, but I believe some facts are already followed as a standard procedure. For example, doctors should help in order to benefit the sick and keep patient’s stories and information confidential among themselves. I also feel if a doctor does not know how to treat a patient, it would be good to get another opinion from their colleagues. However, in any kind of pledge or oath, there will always be exceptions, where part of the oath might be broken or not taken into serious consideration. I believe these oaths are supposed to give a general guideline/rule for a practitioner.

Catherine Yang

hippocratic-oath-1 thehippocraticoath jfa1323l1

Comments are closed.