|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Hippocratic Oath article.|
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- 1 Misleading
- 2 Source of quoted oath
- 3 Changing sentence
- 4 Original source in Latin/Greek
- 5 Wrong words
- 6 Removed
- 7 Modern Versions
- 8 EB version
- 9 WikiProject class rating
- 10 Internal consistency
- 11 Textual Criticisms
- 12 Modern Relevance in need of NPOV
- 13 First do no harm
- 14 Where's the line about abortion?
- 15 Undid Edit of 22.214.171.124
- 16 Euthanasia and abortion
- 17 Modern Versions of the Hippocratic Oath
- 18 Keep In Mind
- 19 Catholic doctors
- 20 Isn't this article rubbish?
- 21 Challenged Portions in need of Neutral POV and Citations
- 22 oath
- 23 "dude"?
- 24 Introduction is WRONG
- 25 Misleading introductory sentence
- 26 No "Long quote" cleanup required.
- 27 Delete American version.
The article seems misleading in implying that only sections of the hippocratic oath have been dropped in some places.
As far as I know it isn't actually used (or sworn) by doctors in most of the first world. Certainly it isn't in the UK.
Does any country actually still use it?
I am failrly certain it is still taught and referred to but I don't whether it is still formally recited as a "pledge" at graduation ceremonies anywhere. The article suggests that formal ceremonial use is declining but I don't know whether it is extinct. I doubt it but can't prove it. Alteripse 11:54, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What do we mean by "use?" A survey of 150 medical schools in Canada and in the United States in 1993 reported that almost none "use" it. Many "use" a form of it, with many alterations. Its relevance is a big question if its modifications have evolved it into something like meaningless wedding vows; or even impotent Dutch law and medical guidelines.Ep9206 (talk) 17:38, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Source of quoted oath
I have removed:
- (PBS/Johns Hopkins; but please also note that the Johns Hopkins source words the ancient Oath differently from the above, which is apocryphal/unsourced)
as part of a revision. The writer makes a very important point that the Oath quoted is unreferenced as to the source. Does anyone have a source or should we replace this version with one for which there is a credible source? --CloudSurfer 22:42, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I edited this article to cut out opinionated statements. Words such as "strongly," etc. should be left out. 126.96.36.199 03:27, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
The second paragraph seems a bit awkward: "It is thought to be written by Hippocrates by some scholars..." Couldn't it be phrased better, maybe like this: "Some scholars believe it was written by Hippocrates..."
dhughes UTC 01:41 December 08, 2005
Either way is fine188.8.131.52 15:19, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm changing "Most scholars believe that the oath was written by Hippocrates..." to "It's widely believed that the oath was written by Hippocrates...?" It's seems clear from reading other articles that it's not the case that 'most scholars' believe he wrote the oath. Dictionary.com states: "He is traditionally but inaccurately considered the author of the Hippocratic oath." the Wikipedia Hippocrates article states: "The best known of the Hippocratic writings is the Hippocratic Oath; however, this text was most likely not written by Hippocrates himself." --Ledavee 11:04, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Original source in Latin/Greek
It would be desirable to include (or reference) the original text of the oath (in greek/latin). Anybody knows?
- Added the Greek version. Took it from Greek Wikipedia and divided it into paragraphs to match the English, for ease of comparison. Not sure what value the Latin would add. kwami 05:12, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
- Continuous evolution in the scriptoria doesn't rule out survival of faithful versions. In any case, it's branching evolution, so it's a lot like inferring the nature of the common ancestors of modern animals beyond what the fossil record shows, as in the prediction of the characteristics of the coelecanths. An classic textual example is the inference of a lost Q document underlying two of the canonical Gospels.
--Jerzy•t 05:11, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
- The Greek version is an addition of so little value in an English encyclopedia that it is merely unencyclopedic clutter here, tho high-class clutter.
Evidently it is in classical rather than modern Greek, but it should be discarded and an ext lk to a reliable source added to the accompanying article -- if one can be determined.
--Jerzy•t 05:11, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
- There is an original classical Greek text, I have it in a book with a modern Greek translation. It also a volume of the Loeb classical library with english translation Blex areton (talk) 17:01, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I am changing one thing. The second block is not "transliterated into Latin" but "Greek transliterated into Latin characters". There is quite a difference between the two. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 03:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the difference is one makes sense, one does not. Latin, despite the claims of computer programs is not the name of a specific alphabet. I guess it might be quibbling, but as Wikipedia has wars over "Scot" v. "Scotch" it seems no less relevant to insist on calling them "Latin characters" (or "Latin alphabet") rather than "Latin" (which is the name of language). 220.127.116.11 (talk) 03:33, 18 February 2009 (UTC) I notice that in Science, wisdom has its timeline and man with his hands has aided others. The concious behaviour of psychology does include life as the genius only. This is an indication of intelligence that has no particular score. The promise to pass human beings in control is the intention and not unconcious behavior its superior. Psychiatry is not candidate for the hippocratic oath as it is only a labor against faith in the modern age and fails classical convention of wisdom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yerkes.Jeanes (talk • contribs) 05:50, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure exactly what the hyppocratic oath section should be, but im sure its not really supposed to read:
To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.
Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion.
But I will preserve the purity of my life and my "farts."
I removed the following sentence: "Also missing from the ancient Oath and from many modern versions are the complex ethical issues associated with HMOs, living wills, and whether morning-after pills are technically closer to prophylactics or an abortion."
The final statement about emergency contraception seems biased to me. I could not think of a good ethical example to replace it with, so I removed the whole sentence, which did not add much to the article, imho. I believe this statement is biased since the medical profession generally understands that the 'morning after pill' is chemically identical to birth control pills. Whether EC/oral contraceptives are an abortion is a matter of debate in the general public and religious sphere, and not generally a debate of the medical profession. Thus, reference to this debate does not belong in an article about the Hippocratic Oath. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 19:35, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I would agree with this as someone has reverted the sentance back in, am removing it again Judderman85 00:00, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
This page should more prominently lead readers to modern versions. Mathiastck 15:45, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I think there is some importance to including the classical version of the oath which I know to pre-date the "Nova" citation, notwithstanding its archaic language, for the shocking change made to the substance of the oath, which had before been to teach all persons seeking the art free of charge.
22.214.171.124 01:56, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
- Mathiastck, I added a photograph of Dr. Lasagna from his biography page, and expanded the link to his version. I also expanded the two references that were there to a site in the UK. I am not a student of medicine but at least the source for what this article says can be read. -Susanlesch 08:25, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
- Thanks! I like the addition. -- Rmrfstar 13:32, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Here's the somewhat more archaic translation in the 15th ed. of the EB:
I will look upon him who shall have taught me this Art even as one of my parents. I will share my substance with him, and I will supply his necessities, if he be in need. I will regard his offspring even as my own brethren, and I will teach them this Art, if they would learn it, without fee or covenant. I will impart this Art by precept, by lecture and by every mode of teaching, not only to my own sons but to the sons of him who has taught me, and to disciples bound by covenant and oath, according to the Law of Medicine.
The regimen I adopt shall be for the benefit of my patients according to my ability and judgment, and not for their hurt or for any wrong. I will give no deadly drug to any, though it be asked of me, nor will I counsel such, 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 or corruption, and especially from any act of seduction, or male or female, of bond or free. Whatsoever things I see or hear concerning the life of men, 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 to be as sacred secrets.
kwami 06:27, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
WikiProject class rating
This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
As for what is meant or if there is any reliable source of the oath, this article could certainly use a section that uses "the knife" in understanding what is meant by any of the text. Is the use of "the knife," refer literally to using knives, or is there any critical interpretation such as "avoidance of unnecessary invasive surgery," or other? It's hard to believe that anybody would blanketly condemn systematic diagnosis.Ep9206 (talk) 17:38, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Modern Relevance in need of NPOV
The bit "3. Never to do ... Consent" seems very, very biased. Why does it claim areas like Oregon or countries like The Netherlands allow doctors "murder" patients without the consent of patients?! This is not just biased, in fact, it is plain wrong. The reference given is a one-sided list of articles and op-eds on Dutch 'killing'. I'd like to refer readers to the Dutch Wikipedia which goes over the law regulating euthanasia in The Netherlands, but it boils down to this: in order for euthanasia to take place there must, in direct contradiction to what this article claims, be clear and prior consent by the patient. The 'source' (number 4) on all these allegations refers to an article that also just rants about how Dutch doctors run around killing people left and right, clearly not something one would like to see as a foundation for encyclopedic material. Most irritatingly, that rant itself provides no sources for any of its claims, especially some of the more outlandish ones. I'm not used to Wikipedia's tagging style, but I'm going to go and find one that's either NPOV of sources related and slap it on here. Wouter de Groot (talk) 22:35, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
- Turns out this was an edit by a single user, adding in the questionable source and biased text. Reverted. Wouter de Groot (talk) 22:50, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
After someone felt the need to put the word killing back in there I've changed it back to "perform euthanasia" so that the argument about killing, murdering and whatnot can take place at the linked article, where it should. In this context it should be objectively clear what is going on: euthanasia. Whether someone feels this is murder or not is beside the point for this article. Wouter de Groot (talk) 19:12, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
First do no harm
I think it's a widely held misconception that this oath contains the words "First do no harm." I think the article should mention this, and the probable source for that phrase. Thoughts? -- Mjworthey (talk) 18:59, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
- This page discusses the matter a bit. Really though, I don't know how important this matter is. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 19:23, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Where's the line about abortion?
The abortion article (and non-Wikipedia sources) say the Hippocratic oath forbids abortion by pessary but there is no mention of that here. Either this article should be corrected to include a more accurate translation and the abortion article should be corrected to remove mention of the Hippocratic Oath and/or this article should be updated to mention the relevant bit in the section about modern alterations.
- In the text of the article right now, it says "Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy." -- AnonMoos (talk) 02:12, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I seriously doubt that the ancient Greek knew about pessaries. Obviously something was added in the translation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 18:25, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
- The standard Greek lexicon defines πεσσός (the word used in the Greek text) as "medicated plug of wool or lint to be introduced into the vagina, anus, etc." "Abortive remedy" is loose paraphrase, and we should prefer a literal translation here (with explanation of anything that is difficult or requires comment, rather than interpretation disguised as translation). Moreover, Dumaka's edit destroyed many wikilinks and caused the footnote source reference to be in error. I believe the reason we have this translation in there now is because it is attributable to a reliable source. It should be replaced only by a more authoritative version (perhaps G.E.R. Lloyd's in the Penguin). I don't care about the interpretive debate here; I just want to see a translation that accords with the Greek (and ideally is recent and by an expert on Hippocratic medicine), with a clear citation of its source. For now, the cited NIH text is more accurate on this point and agrees with the citation. Wareh (talk) 16:16, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
- The wikilinked term pessary refers to an item made of plastic or silicon, which makes the idea that this was translated from the Greek quite suspect. The cited article also doesn't give any indication that a pessary might be to do with abortion, other than a circular reference pointing back to this article, and that in turn makes the entire affair very suspect, making Wikipedia look like a victim of politics. Wikipedia cannot solve political battles, but it can document them and it can insulate itself from being a patsy of them by at least acknowledging the fact of disputes. If you look at this article, there is no indication of a dispute around this point, and at minimum there should be, preferably with an even-handed explanation of the reason for that dispute. --Netsettler (talk) 19:11, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Undid Edit of 188.8.131.52
User 184.108.40.206 removed the introduction. If you don't like the intro, edit it, but I think articles should have introductions, so please don't remove it entirely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjworthey (talk • contribs) 20:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Euthanasia and abortion
[This] part seemingly concerns euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, saying: "And I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked, nor will I suggest the way to such a counsel."
Two leading scholars of the Oath, Littre and Miles, have however suggested that this passage alludes to the then common practice of using doctors as skilled political assassins.
Steven Miles notes: "Fear of the physician-poisoner may be traced very close to the time of the Oath."
The word "euthanasia" (meaning "easeful death") was only coined a century after the writing of the Oath.
The text continues: "And likewise I will not give a woman a destructive pessary."
This passage is often interpreted as a rejection of abortion.
However, abortion was legal at the time and the text only mentions pessaries (a soaked piece of wool inserted in the vagina to induce abortion), not the oral methods of abortion also used in ancient Greece.
As pessaries could cause lethal infections, the author of the Oath may have had a clinical objection to the method, rather than a moral objection to abortion itself.
These are simply modern day interpretations, all the tradition interprets the original Hippocratic Oath as a condemnation of abortion and infanticide. I can give you Margaret Mead opinion : "For the first time in our tradition there was a complete separation between killing and curing. Throughout the primitive world, the doctor and the sorcerer tended to be the same person. He with the power to kill had power to cure, including specially the undoing of his own killing activities. He who had the power to cure would necessarily also be able to kill...With the Greeks the distinction was made clear. One profession, the followers of Asclepius, were to be dedicated completely to life under all circumstances, regardless of rank, age or intellect - the life of a slave, the life of the Emperor, the life of a foreign man, the life of a defective child..." 220.127.116.11 (talk) 21:25, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
There is a textual criticism here The Hippocratic Oath: A Commentary and Translation Prepared by Howard Herrell. What I find interesting is that the suggestion that H. wouldn't give a pessary to a woman because that would circumvent the rights of the male. At any rate, he did give advice to his kinswoman on how to effect an abortion http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/wlgr/wlgr-medicine341.shtml. and I think that should be mentioned in the controversy section. The Margaret Mead quotation is irrelevant, as it doesn't mention abortion. Ermadog (talk) 14:05, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
The article of Howard Herrell states that the original text and historical context of the Hippocratic Oath is free for different interpretations. "First, as has already been stated, other parts of the Corpus Hippocratum discuss abortion techniques. But what does this prove? As many have pointed out, virtually every principle expounded in the Oath is elsewhere contradicted in the Corpus Hippocratum. Might there be a reason that the techniques of abortion are delineated, yet abortion is prohibited? Pliny the Elder's Natural History from the 1st century BC lists several compounds and methods known to cause abortion (Nardi, 1971). But Pliny was clearly opposed to abortion. He characterizes abortions as scelera or crimes (XXVIII, 7) and says that it makes humans worse than beasts (X, 63). When he discusses raven's eggs in XXX, 14, he clearly demonstrates that his purpose in discussing their abortifacient ability is to warn pregnant women to avoid them. So it is conceivable that the descriptions of abortion methods in the Corpus Hippocratum were provided for the sake of knowledge, more than for the sake of describing a potential procedure. Thus, the presence of information on abortions in the Corpus Hippocratum does not in and of itself contradict the Oath." Margaret Mead quote isn't strictly speaking about abortion but about the respect for human life in general.18.104.22.168 (talk) 22:47, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
- At the very least, the article is remiss for using the reference to abortion without explanation that there is a dispute as to interpretation and a direct explanation of the reasoning. I should not have had to read the Talk section to get a proper understanding of what's going on here. --Netsettler (talk) 19:06, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Modern Versions of the Hippocratic Oath
There are several different versions of the Hippocratic Oath used in different countries by the Physicians Orders. I can give the example of the Mexican Hippocratic Oath version who openly condemns abortion, taking a pro-life stance, like in many other countries. I will try to find the right sources.22.214.171.124 (talk) 21:25, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Keep In Mind
Hey, The page isn't for writing the hippocratic oath. The hippocrat oath already exist doctors aren't checking wikipedia for what the hippocratic oath says. So if a version of the oath says something, then it says it. The oath isn't the writers biass or antones politics. Everything isn't politics, and the oath is one of those things —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 17:52, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
- I'd hope doctors (or anyone else) aren't checking Wiki as the arbiter of anything of significance.Jmdeur (talk) 20:40, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
- The oath has become very political if it was not always so. This is made clear by the American "vesrion" of it. LookingGlass (talk) 09:22, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I noticed that there were associations of Catholic doctors that held to the original version of the Hippocratic oath in their opposition to abortion and euthanasia. There should perhaps be additional information on how these medical associations interpret the Hippocratic oath. Another issue would be to verify whether these medical associations have their own oaths and whether they officially replace the words Apollo and Asclepius by Jesus Christ and Catholic Church. ADM (talk) 14:39, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Isn't this article rubbish?
It says "the oath is considered a rite of passage for practitioners of medicine, although nowadays the modernized version of the text varies among the countries." I mean as far as I know e.g in the UK no doctor takes the hippocratic oath and I thought its use elsewhere was an urban myth (although in the new countries where traditions are invented is possible I guess). --BozMo talk 09:52, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
- The only source for "most" I can find is a user generated article on the BBC website where the claim to most is explicitly challenged in the comments. This looks very US centric --BozMo talk 09:56, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
- I agree that the content of this article is possibly highly US-centric. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 12:45, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Challenged Portions in need of Neutral POV and Citations
This entire section (excepting point 3) is highly biased and has no citations for how these portions of the oath are challenged nor by whom they have been challenged. Without these it is simply commentary, I suggest either removing it altogether or finding at least one article alleging modern concerns to these points of the Oath.
I'd also like to draw attention to point 7. To keep the good of the patient as the highest priority.
First this is not even a reference to any portion of any version of the Oath, nor does it refer to any text in the article whatsoever. Whereas, this point does appear to challenge the entire purpose behind the Hippocratic Oath, namely to have the welfare of the patient at the forefront of a doctor's (surgeon, physician, specialist, etc.) ethical position towards their art and career of medicine. All of the descriptions specifying the nature of this challenge refer more to political positions rather than a question of ethics - in particular the statement refers to "conserving economic resources,...or simply making money for the physician or [their] employer," as "conflicting 'good purposes,'" again this is dubious (and no citation doesn't help), these matters are of a political nature rather than notable issues for the 'grass-roots' ethics of the practice of medicine.
- If a citation cannot be found I will first label point 7 dubious for 48 hours, then remove it.
- If it can be found I suggest changing the section of the article to Challenges to the Oath with the challenge of point 7 as the body and have the specific portions as a sub-section.
does this oath apply to office personal? can they say out loud where others can hear what your problem is?? Thank You Ron P firstname.lastname@example.org —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 14:18, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Introduction is WRONG
It is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates, ... this is completely wrong. Rather, very few people believe it has been written by Hippocrates.
- Actually it reads: "It is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates, often regarded as the father of western medicine, in Ionic Greek (late 5th century BCE), or by one of his students"
Misleading introductory sentence
The quote in the main text:-
"It is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates, often regarded as the father of western medicine, or by one of his students."
is contradicted by what I have just heard on BBC Radio 4's In Our Time episode on The Hippocratic Oath. This is a programme that discusses a topic with invited experts on the subject each week. At 18 minutes and 3 seconds into the podcast Melvyn says that he gets the impression from the papers written by the experts that there is possibility the Hippocratic Oath "might well be tracked back to Hippocrates himself". He is immediately contradicted by one of the experts who says "No, I think we are agreeing on that one" - meaning all the experts agree that it is not a possibility it can be tracked back to Hippocrates himself. If scholars don't believe it can be attributed to Hippocrates himself then it seems misleading to start the article saying it is widely believed to have been written by him (unless by widely believed it is meant that most of the general public believe this).
Here are the links to the page for the programme:-
More importantly the reference used to justify this sentence in the wikipedia article also says he may not have written it:-
"The famous Hippocratean oath may not be an authentic deliverance of the great master, but is an ancient formula current in his school."
This quote give me the impression he probably didn't write it, which contradicts the first sentence of the article.
If Melvyn is unclear on the issue then its understandable that the writer of the article could be too, so I am just adding this comment to add more information to the debate (I don't claim to have any other knowledge of Hippocrates). Keep up the good work! :-) Steve
No "Long quote" cleanup required.
The "Oath Text" section of the article currently opens with a cleanup advisory, referencing the LONGQUOTE standard.
The standard does not apply to this section, and the cleanup advisory should be removed.
The text of the Oath is not a "quote," in the sense of previously-published information about the article's subject. The text of the Oath IS the article's subject.
By comparison: The article on the US Declaration of Independence includes the full text of the Declaration. The article on the British anthem, "God Save the Queen," includes the full lyric of the song. The article on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address includes the full text of the speech. Etc.
Delete American version.
The two translations of the Oath that are given seem merited because they are translations. The American "version" of the Oath should be deleted. There are many versions of the Oath so there is no reason to include one vesrion and not others. Many comments here refer to the other versions that are used. In my opinion there is far greater merit in including the [Declaration of Geneva |Geneva]] version than Dean Lasagna's one, but that is not an argument so to do. LookingGlass (talk) 09:30, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
- I agree. There was no discussion or attempt to reach consensus before making wholesale changes to the Modern American version. I don't mind that version being included -- but removing the original version without any discussion was a bit hasty. I'm reverting it back. Lordvolton (talk) 02:14, 28 November 2013 (UTC)