Medicine’s solemn momentsBMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4380 (Published 10 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4380
- Daniel Sokol, barrister and medical ethicist
- 12 King’s Bench Walk, London, UK
Not so long ago, at the start of a trial I took part in, the opposing barrister was ruffling through his papers while my witness was swearing the oath: “I swear by almighty God that I will tell the truth [ruffling of papers] . . . the whole truth [more ruffling] . . .” At this point the judge, with a frown, told my opponent to stop at once.
I was surprised by this judicial rebuke. Many barristers, for whom the court procedure has become second nature, pay little attention during the swearing of the …