The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine

The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine

by Steven H. Miles
     
 

This engaging book examines what the Hippocratic Oath meant to Greek physicians 2400 years ago and reflects on its relevance to medical ethics today. Drawing on the writings of ancient physicians, Greek playwrights, and modern scholars, each chapter explores one of its passages and concludes with a modern case discussion. The Oath proposes principles governing the

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Overview

This engaging book examines what the Hippocratic Oath meant to Greek physicians 2400 years ago and reflects on its relevance to medical ethics today. Drawing on the writings of ancient physicians, Greek playwrights, and modern scholars, each chapter explores one of its passages and concludes with a modern case discussion. The Oath proposes principles governing the relationship between the physician and society and patients. It rules out the use of poison and a hazardous abortive technique. It defines integrity and discretion in physicians' speech. The ancient Greek medical works written during the same period as the Oath reveal that Greek physicians understood that they had a duty to avoid medical errors and learn from bad outcomes. These works showed how and why to tell patients about their diseases and dire prognoses in order to develop a partnership for healing and to build the credibility of the profession. Miles uses these writings to illuminate the meaning of the Oath in its day and in so doing shows how and why it remains a valuable guide to the ethical practice of medicine. This is a book for anyone who loves medicine and is concerned about the ethics and history of this profession.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195188202
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/10/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

The Oath
Map of Ancient Greece
1Grand Rounds1
IPhysician, who are you?
2Creators15
3Teachers26
4Learners35
IITo what are Physicians Committed?
5The Health of the Public55
6Deadly Drugs66
7Abortion81
8Integrity95
9Errors105
10Consent and Truth-Telling124
11Exploiting Patients139
12Discretion in Speech149
IIIIn what Way are Physicians Accountable?
13A Trustworthy Profession161
Afterword: The Oath for Our Time171
App. ATimeline187
App. BThe Oath as a Curricular Outline for Medical Ethics189
Bibliography193
Index205

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