The Hippocratic Oath : what I managed to hear in a crowded room

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:…

[I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.]

I will apply [, for the benefit of the sick,] all measures which are required, avoiding [those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic] nihilism.

I will remember that there is art [to medicine as well as science, and] that [warmth, sympathy, and understanding] may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

[I will not be ashamed to say] “I know not,” [nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.]

[I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all,] I must not play at God.

I will remember [that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.]

[I will prevent disease whenever I can but I will always look for a path to a cure for all diseases.]

I will remember [that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.]

[If I do not violate this oath,]  may I enjoy life and art  [, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.]



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