Hippocratic Oath
The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

s and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine ethically. It is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates
Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

, often regarded as the father of western medicine, or by one of his students. The oath is written in Ionic Greek
Ionic Greek
Ionic Greek was a subdialect of the Attic–Ionic dialect group of Ancient Greek .-History:Ionic dialect appears to have spread originally from the Greek mainland across the Aegean at the time of the Dorian invasions, around the 11th Century B.C.By the end of the Greek Dark Ages in the 5th Century...

 (late 5th century BC), and is usually included in the Hippocratic Corpus
Hippocratic Corpus
The Hippocratic Corpus , or Hippocratic Collection, is a collection of around 60 early Ancient Greek medical works strongly associated with the physician Hippocrates and his teachings...

. Classical scholar Ludwig Edelstein proposed that the oath was written by Pythagoreans, a theory that has been questioned due to the lack of evidence for a school of Pythagorean medicine. Of historic and traditional value, the oath is considered a rite of passage for practitioners of medicine in many countries, although nowadays the modernized version of the text varies among them.

The Hippocratic Oath (orkos) is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. It requires a new physician to swear upon a number of healing gods that he will uphold a number of professional ethical standards.


Original, translated into English:


Classic translation into English:
In the 1870s, many American medical schools chose to abandon the Hippocratic Oath as part of graduation ceremonies, usually substituting a version modified to something considered more politically and medically correct, or an alternate pledge like the Oath of Maimonides
Oath of Maimonides
The Oath of Maimonides is a traditional oath for physicians attributed to Maimonides. It is not to be confused with the more lengthy Prayer of Maimonides. It is often used as an alternative to the Hippocratic Oath.-The oath:...


The Hippocratic Oath has been updated by the Declaration of Geneva
Declaration of Geneva
The Declaration of Geneva was adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association at Geneva in 1948 and amended in 1968, 1984, 1994, 2005 and 2006. It is a declaration of physicians' dedication to the humanitarian goals of medicine, a declaration that was especially important in view...

. In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the General Medical Council
General Medical Council
The General Medical Council registers and regulates doctors practising in the United Kingdom. It has the power to revoke or restrict a doctor's registration if it deems them unfit to practise...

 provides clear modern guidance in the form of its Duties of a Doctor and Good Medical Practice statements.

Modern version

A widely used modern version of the traditional oath was penned in 1964 by Dr. Louis Lasagna
Louis Lasagna
Louis Lasagna was an American physician and professor of medicine, known for his revision of the Hippocratic Oath.-Early life and education:...

, former Principal of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences
Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences
The Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences is one of the eight schools that comprise Tufts University. It is located on the university's health sciences campus in the Chinatown district of Boston, Massachusetts.-Organization and Degree Programs:...

 and Academic Dean of the School of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
The Tufts University School of Medicine is one of the eight schools that constitute Tufts University. Located on the university's health sciences campus in the Chinatown district of Boston, Massachusetts, the medical school has clinical affiliations with thousands of doctors and researchers in the...

 at Tufts University:

Modern relevance

Derivations of the oath have been modified over the years in various countries. In the USA, most medical schools administer some form of oath. It has been suggested that a similar oath should be undertaken by scientists, a Hippocratic Oath for Scientists
Hippocratic Oath for scientists
The Hippocratic Oath for scientists has been suggested as an ethical code of practice for scientists that is similar to the Hippocratic Oath used in the medical profession...


See also

  • Declaration of Helsinki
    Declaration of Helsinki
    The Declaration of Helsinki is a set of ethical principles regarding human experimentation developed for the medical community by the World Medical Association . It is widely regarded as the cornerstone document of human research ethics...

  • Geneva conventions
    Geneva Conventions
    The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

  • Hippocrates
    Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

  • Hospital Corpsman Pledge
  • Human experimentation in the United States
    Human experimentation in the United States
    There have been numerous experiments performed on human test subjects in the United States that have been considered unethical, and were often performed illegally, without the knowledge, consent, or informed consent of the test subjects....

  • Medical ethics
    Medical ethics
    Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology.-History:Historically,...

  • Nightingale Pledge
    Nightingale Pledge
    The Nightingale Pledge is a traditional pledge that was taken by new nurses. Named after Florence Nightingale, it was composed by a committee chaired by Lystra Gretter, an instructor of nursing at the old Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and was first used by its graduating class in the spring...

  • Nuremberg code
    Nuremberg Code
    The Nuremberg Code is a set of research ethics principles for human experimentation set as a result of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials at the end of the Second World War.-Background:...

  • Oath of Asaph
    Oath of Asaph
    The Oath of Asaph, also known as the Oath of Asaph and Yohanan, is a code of conduct for Hebrew physicians. It may have been written in the 6th century CE, which would make Asaph the oldest known Hebrew medical writer.-Oath Text:...

  • Oath of the Hindu physician
    Oath of the Hindu physician
    The oath of the Hindu physician, also known as the vaidya's oath, was an oath taken by Hindu physicians. It is dated from the 15th century BCE and requires physicians not to eat meat, drink, or commit adultery...

  • Physician's Oath
    Physician's Oath
    The Physician's Oath was codified in the Declaration of Geneva by the World Medical Association.It was adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association, Geneva, Switzerland, September 1948 and amended by the 22nd World Medical Assembly, Sydney, Australia, August 1968.-Purpose of...

  • Primum non nocere
    Primum non nocere
    is a Latin phrase that means "First, do no harm". The phrase is sometimes recorded as .Nonmaleficence, which derives from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of medical ethics that all medical students are taught in medical school and is a fundamental principle for emergency medical...

  • Seventeen Rules of Enjuin
    Seventeen Rules of Enjuin
    The Seventeen Rules of Enjuin are a code of conduct developed for students of the Japanese Ri-shu school of medicine in the 16th century CE....

  • Sun Simiao
    Sun Simiao
    Sun Simiao was a famous traditional Chinese medicine doctor of the Sui and Tang dynasty. He was titled as China's King of Medicine for his significant contributions to Chinese medicine and tremendous care to his patients....

  • White Coat Ceremony
    White coat ceremony
    The white coat ceremony is a relatively new ritual in some medical , optometry, dental, chiropractic, occupational therapy, physical therapy, podiatric, pharmacy, physician assistant, and veterinary medical schools that marks the student's transition from the study of preclinical to clinical...

External links

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