The Hippocratic oath updated Could boost credibility of doctorsBMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6959.953 (Published 08 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:953
- M P Ward Platt
EDITOR, - Eugene D Robin has done medicine a service by recasting the Hippocratic oath in a modern form.1 His suggestions tackle many of the ethical principles (respect for autonomy, beneficence, non- maleficence, justice, and scope) lucidly discussed by Raanon Gillon.1 I think, however, that two paragraphs are in danger of compromising the principle of autonomy - namely, the one relating to honesty with patients and the one starting, “I will do unto patients and their families only what I would want done unto me or my family.” This could be avoided by explicitly stating respect for autonomy in terms of imparting information and undertaking procedures.
I also believe that there should be explicit mention of the need to relieve pain. To some extent this is encompassed in the seventh paragraph by the words “to …