Medical Oaths    


The Hippocratic Oath

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment 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 lineage and to teach them this art-if they desire to learn it-without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; 1 will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy, in purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

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 female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life 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 honored 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 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 over treatment 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.

1 will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may konw. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. 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, for pervention is preferable to cure.

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.

 Duties of Doctors in General

  • To maintain the highest standards of professional conduct.
  • To practice uninfluenced by motives of profit.
  • To use caution while divulging discoveries or new techniques of treatment.
  • To certify or testify only those matters with which the doctor has personal experience.
  • To ensure that any act oradvice that could weaken physical or mental resistance of an  individual must be used only in the interest of that individual.

Duties of Doctors to the Sick

  • Always remember the supreme obligation of preserving life.
  • The patient should owe complete loyalty and faith to you and to the resources of medical sciences. Whenever a treatment or examination is beyond the capacity of the doctor, the advice of another doctor should be sought.
  • A doctor must always preserve absolute secrecy concerning all he knows about a patient because of the confidence reposed in him.
  • Emergency care is a humanitarian duty which must be given unless it is clear that there are others better able to give it.

Duties of Doctors to each other

  • A doctor must behave to his colleagues as he would have them behave toward him.
  • A doctor must not entice patients from his colleagues.

The following are Unethical Practices

  • Any self advertisement or claiming unusual cures.
  • Collaboration in any form of medical service in which the doctor does not have professional independence.
  • Receipt of any money in connection with services rendered to a patient other than a proper professional fee.

Author's Name: Dr. Dipak R. Sarbadhikari
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Updated: 08 Apr 2012

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