Original, translated into English:
I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement: To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.
I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.
I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.
I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.
In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.
All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.
If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.
While reading this oath, I was struck by the fact that "ancient man" had a better medical ethical understanding and commitment than many modern physicians and medical personal as well as pharmaceutical companies do. I have been familiar with this oath since my time in college and have followed the "evolution" of the oath that has occurred at many medical colleges.
The original oath cites a reference to "always prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone" and "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion." I immediately thought of the modern abortionist doctors and others such as Jack Kevorkian and the reversal or complete violation of this particular clause. The oath to "never do harm to anyone" and the oath "to not give a a woman a pessary to cause an abortion" are such outmoded, redefined, or ignored ethics in our secular society that the I was amazed that the statue I was reading had not been vandalized or removed! But there it stood, right in the middle of the courtyard, as a testimony to all who saw and read it - a "testimony" of the amazing "advancement" modern man has made. It occurred to me that these ancient Greek doctors and their belief in "false gods" viewed life with greater respect than many now practicing the ancient art do.
When man becomes the final arbiter and reference point, all of life becomes cheapened and expendable. Man can and will redefine what is "good," "right," and "just" to fit society's latest experimental and ethical whims. The statue of Hippocrates stands as an indictment against modern man and his attempt to play God, deciding good and evil for himself without any reference to any God or gods. The inconvenient truth is that modern man, or the current modern god, has now replaced any permanent oath or code inscribed in stone or lead with a dry erase marker board that can be erased and reworked as man deems suitable.
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Readers - I'd love to hear your comments! - Pastor Don