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Hippocratic Oath

Formulated in Greece in the 5th century BC, the Hippocratic Oath establishes a lasting basis for the principles of medical practice. Even today amended versions are part of the ceremony of graduation for doctors in many parts of the world. This is the section of the original oath dealing with the doctor's commitment to his patients:

'Whatever I prescribe shall be for the benefit of my patients to the best of my ability and judgement, and not for their hurt or for any wrong. I will give no deadly drug to any, though it be asked of me, and especially I will not aid a woman to procure abortion. Whatsoever house I enter, there will I go for the benefit of the sick, refraining from all wrongdoing and corruption, and especially from any act of seduction, of male or female, whether slave or free. Whatsoever things I hear in my attendance on the sick, or even apart therefrom, which ought not to be noised abroad, I will keep silence thereon, counting such things as sacred secrets.'

Quoted Encyclopaedia Britannica 1972, xv, page 95

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