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Modern Hippocratic Oath

Updated 2009-02-04 22:05

Hippocratic Oath—Modern Version

Upon graduation, many medical students take a modern version of the oath written by Louis Lasagna in 1964.


1I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
2aI will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk,
2band gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
3aI will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required,
3bavoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
4aI will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science,
4band that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
5aI will not be ashamed to say "I know not,"
5bnor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
6aI will respect the privacy of my patients,
6bfor their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know.
6cMost especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death.
6dIf it is given me to save a life, all thanks.
6eBut it may also be within my power to take a life;
6fthis awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.
6gAbove all, I must not play at God.
7aI will remember that I do not treat a fever chart,
7ba cancerous growth, but a sick human being,
7cwhose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability.
7dMy responsibility includes these related problems,
7eif I am to care adequately for the sick.
8aI will prevent disease whenever I can,
8bfor prevention is preferable to cure.
9aI will remember that I remain a member of society,
9bwith special obligations to all my fellow human beings,
9cthose sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
10aIf I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art,
10brespected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter.
10cMay I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling
10dand may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.



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