Oath of Hippocrates (ca. 300 B.C.)
- Full Text -
I swear by Apollo the Physician, Aesculapius, Health, All-Heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgement, I will keep this oath and this stipulation:
I will consider him who taught me this art as dear to me as my parents; I will share my substance with him and relieve his necessities if required. I will look upon his offspring as if they were my own brothers, and will teach them this art, if they should wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation. By precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons, the sons of my teachers, and to disciples bound by an oath and stipulation according to the law of medicine, but to none others.
I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgement, I consider to be for the benefit of my patients, and will abstain from whatever is deleterious and wrong. I will not give deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor will I suggest such counsel; similarly I will not help a woman procure an abortion. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my art. I will not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave that to practitioners of such work. Into whatever house I enter, I will go there for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every act of mischief and corruption, and from the seduction of females or males, of freemen or slaves. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not, that I see or hear in the lives of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept as holy secrets.
While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may I enjoy life and the practice of this art, respected by all men, in all times! Should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot!