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From The CriticsReviewer: Ryan B Spellecy, PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin Health Policy Institute)
Description: This book provides a solid context for the background of the Hippocratic Oath, as well as the Oath's role in modern medicine.
Purpose: The author seeks to apply the Hippocratic Oath to 21st century medicine. To do this, he explores the history and context of the Oath, inserting vignettes from modern medicine to highlight aspects of the Oath that are both relevant and needed today.
Audience: "The audience is physicians, students in the health sciences, scholars engaged in bioethics, and the general public. The book will likely appeal more to physicians and students of the health sciences. Although the author is certainly an authority in bioethics, delving into the classics is a new venture for him. The historical aspects of the book are neither exhaustive nor authoritative, though this is not the intent. "
Features: "The book explores the meaning and relevance of the Hippocratic Oath for modern medicine. The author explores the entire Oath in sections, discussing not only the prohibition against prescribing a deadly drug, but also often overlooked topics such as the invoking of Greek deities in the Oath and how that invocation shapes the Oath, as well as the Oath's relevance today. The author's use of clinical vignettes to provide a modern application of the Oath is engaging and successful. While he merely summarizes the literature regarding classical scholarship instead of engaging it, such as the authorship of the Oath or the practice of euthanasia in Ancient Greece, this will likely not be an issue for many readers. "
Assessment: This book is unique to the field. Little has been written about the relevance of the Oath to modern medicine, as many have thought the Oath was irrelevant to the practice of modern medicine. This book provides a very serious, compelling challenge to that assumption.