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The Hippocratic Oath Today, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 697

Essay

I was quite amazed to read the ancient oath. I found it disturbing that doctors had to pledge allegiance to gods, regardless to their religious connotations. For example, “I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygeia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant”. Also, that the apprentice doctor had to hold the person who trained him in the same regards that he would hold his parents. Yet, I believe this maintained a sense of family among doctors because they were also required to teach the trade to the children of the apprentice if they desired to learn. Overall, I believe the Hippocratic Oath was intended to serve a great purpose, but over the years the world has changed drastically causing those oaths to become unclear. For example, “Many people argue that the original Hippocratic Oath is invalid in a society that has seen drastic socio-economic, political and moral changes in society since the time of Hippocrates. This has led to the modification of the oath to something better suited for our times”.

I believe that most doctors who are in the profession try to abide by the guidelines outlined in the oath. However, there are those doctors that are only in the profession for money and the guidelines are obsolete to them. According to the article, “I will not give a fatal draught to anyone if I am asked, nor will I suggest any such thing. Neither will I give a woman means to procure an abortion”.  There are some doctors that only perform these deeds. Many doctors who specialize in abortions only do that one task.  According to the oath, doctors are to do no harm. It is difficult to understand how a doctor can agree to the modern oath and still perform abortions without just cause. Yes, there are some rare instances where aborting the fetus may save the life of the mother, but often abortions are performed when the fetus is just unwanted. Likewise, there are doctors who help patients end their lives for various reasons. Some have debilitating illnesses, while others just choose not to live with a disability that has changed the quality of life they may possibly have. The oath stated: “That I will maintain this sacred trust, holding myself far aloof from wrong, from corrupting, from the tempting of others to vice”.

There are great doctors who are upholding the underlining guidelines of the Hippocratic Oath. These doctors teach preventative and alternative methods to help patients prevent illnesses. In today’s world, there are so many issues that doctors’face that are not outlined in the guidelines of the oath. For example, when the Ebola virus was on the forefront of news, many doctors went to various places to treat the victims knowing that they could become infected and possibly die. Several medical workers were infected and eventually died from the virus; nonetheless, these doctors were willing to risk their lives to ensure that the lives of the victims may be saved. I believe these doctors and other medical professionals had the patients’ best interest in mind.

Over the years, the Hippocratic Oath has changed drastically, but the one change that I believe is most important is that the following statement was left out of the contemporary version: “If I fulfill 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 believe this was important to remove because no medical professional should enter into the field in order to gain fame and honor. Being a doctor is a service job-the purpose is to serve the people.  The contemporary version states: I now turn to my calling, promising to preserve its finest traditions, with the reward of a long experience in the joy of healing. I know that being a doctor is a calling; it is not for everyone. The profession chooses doctors, not people choosing the profession.

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