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Over the centuries, it has been rewritten often in order to suit the values of different cultures influenced by Greek medicine. Contrary to popular belief, the Hippocratic Oath is not required by most modern medical schools, although some have adopted that suit many in the profession in the 21st century. It also does not explicitly contain the phrase, "First, do no harm," which is commonly attributed to it.

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The modern physicians' oath created by Louis Lasagna is nothing like the Hippocratic Oath

It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts

Seen as essentially providing only general moral and ethical guidance, many physicians today find physicians' oaths lacking. Some point to the number and diversity of specialties in modern medicine and note that one, generalized oath is inadequate. Others identify that the oaths often conflict with necessary medical experiments, or simply do not address them.

NOVA - Official Website | The Hippocratic Oath Today

Similarly, in 1964 a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath was penned by Professor Lasagna of the School of Medicine at Tufts University. Although the modern oath retains many of the themes of the original, it omits the troublesome parts about surgery, euthanasia, abortion and sexual relations.


The restrictive, ancient vow poses several problems for the modern practitioner. First, the oath forbids physician use of a knife, a key instrument involved in nearly every medical practice. Second, its prohibition against abortion violates , and would alienate over . Third, its restraint on euthanasia runs counter to the modern trend toward .

Hippocratic Oath and Hospice | ethicsmed

Although scholars disagree about when it was written, or even who wrote it, the general consensus is that the Hippocratic Oath was penned about 2500 years ago. Most commonly attributed to , the father of modern medicine, the ancient vow demands a lot from doctors, including a certain level of chastity, charity and swearing to pagan gods. It provides in :

Greek Medicine - Hippocrates - Crystalinks

The Hippocratic Oath () is perhaps the most widely known of Greek medical texts. It requires a new physician to swear upon a number of healing gods that he will uphold a number of professional ethical standards. It also strongly binds the student to his teacher and the greater community of physicians with responsibilities similar to that of a family member. In fact, the creation of the Oath may have marked the early stages of medical training to those outside the first families of Hippocratic medicine, the Asclepiads of Kos, by requiring strict loyalty.