Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Mid Staffs shames us all

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 12 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f927
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

I asked my son, “What’s the Hippocratic oath?” He laughed, “Is it what hypocrites take?” I prickled, for an oath is no joking matter. I took the Hippocratic oath in Latin, I think, hung over in a ceremony shortly before my medical graduation, but it mattered to me. Many universities don’t even bother with the oath today. The Francis report into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust means that we must re-examine our professional vows and what it means to be a doctor.

The report releases the pus that …

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