Do you know what does the Hippocratic oath mean?

Do you know what does the Hippocratic oath mean?

Everybody knows that a future doctor takes the Hippocratic oath, but only a few know the exact meaning.

Of course, the development of modern medicine would be impossible without the scientific analysis of medical knowledge and vast experience that mankind has acquired throughout existence.
Worldwide, for graduates of medical institutes taking a Hippocratic oath is an integral part of the festive ceremony. Who was the doctor whose name everybody knows by heart even after the centuries?

Who was Hippocrates?

Father of Medicine, as he is referred to in Greece, was born in 460 BC on the island of Kos. Reformer of antique medicine studied in Athens and became a so-called wandering doctor after his studies. He traveled in Greece, Egypt, and Asia Minor - thoroughly studied the medicine of Asia Minor and Egypt.

He could perform physical examination relying on touch, auscultation of the chest and abdominal cavity and examined the color and odor of urine and stool for diagnosing diseases. He laid the foundation for medical records (anamnesis, disease history), developed methods of wound dressing, fracture treatment, etc.

His papers described the progression of various diseases and principles of treatment. Based on his observation and practical experiences, he realized that in diagnosing and treating the disease, a doctor must consider the patient's individual characteristics and the effect of internal, as well as external factors on the human body.

He created an oath that is regarded as a moral code of the medical profession. 

What is the Hippocratic oath?

It’s not surprising that the oath has changed multiple times over the centuries, albeit its’ core idea remained the same. The latest version emphasizes the duties towards the patients that future doctors take upon themselves and also, the pledge that their actions will always benefit the health and life of patients. 

Hippocrates’  initial oath was as follows:

Hippocrates wrote – “I swear by Apollo Physician, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture. To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the physician’s oath, but to nobody else.

I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art.

Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets.

Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain forever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me!”

How they take the Hippocratic oath? 

Of course, along with the development of the medical sphere and contemporary challenges, the initial text has been edited over the centuries, albeit, the vital part remained the same – medics will apply all measures to defeat the disease.

All universities have their ceremonies, and swearing-in rituals are also different – Georgia isn’t an exception as well.

However, no matter where, under what circumstances or in what kind of planned scenario you take the Hippocratic oath, future doctors, graduates all over the world share one primary sentiment – they connect their lives with the most humane work mankind has ever done. Countless happy and proud tears have been shed at this event!

Wish you health!