The ” Corpus hippocraticum” is a collection of writings realized by Hipócrates de Cos and his disciples, between centuries V and IV a. C. This work is regarded as one of the first treatises on medicine in history. These texts contain information on different topics: anatomy , pathology or medical therapies. Hippocratic Oath
On the other hand, in one of its parts is included the famous Hippocratic Oath, a document that expresses the ethical commitment to govern the practice of medicine. Today this text is included in the ritual of physicians completing their academic studies. The reading of the oath is a statement of principles of the medical profession.
What does the Hippocratic Oath express?
In the first lines it indicates that the doctor swears by the gods to fulfill the requirements of the Oath. Then, a respect for the person who was the doctor’s teacher is shown. Subsequently, it indicates that the practice of medicine should be directed towards the care of patients. Hippocratic Oath
According to the contents of the Oath, the physician is obligated to:
1) cure patients’ illnesses;
2) avoid the patient’s pain;
3) do not facilitate poison under any circumstances;
4) act fairly;
5) do not facilitate abortion for any woman ;
6) not maintaining intimate relationships with patients;
7) keep patients’ lives secret.
ethics and medicine
The “Hippocratic Oath” is much more than a historical document. The fact that it is still used as a ritual today is a clear indication of its value as a text. It should be noted that medicine is a discipline with obvious ethical implications. A doctor has certain knowledge that allows him to make some decisions contrary to ethics, such as inciting suicide, abortion, the use of poisonous substances, among others. Hippocratic Oath
The first code of ethics in history
Today, many professions incorporate an ethical commitment, known as a deontological code . These codes specify a series of ethical questions: how a professional should act, which actions are contrary to their profession or which are the limits that should not be crossed.
The various deontological codes in force have a precedent among 2500 years of history, the Hippocratic Oath.