Hippocrates, thought of as the father of Western Medicine, died in 310BC. This Greek physician felt that healers needed to make a solemn promise needed to ‘swear’ to uphold medical confidentiality and non maleficence. This ancient oath taken by physicians is 2,500 years old, was revisited 1948 by the World Medical Association’ and reviewed periodically!
World Medical Association’s has put forth the modern successor to the Hippocratic Oath that now addresses physicians’ well-being. The problem of mental health, burnout addiction in medical professionals has come to the forefront. Principally it is attention to physicians’ mental state being incorporated in the oath: “I will attend to my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard.” * While not all new physicians take this oath some use the Lasagna’s version which asks doctors to “admit when they don’t know the answer; prevent diseases; and to take responsibility not just for the patient’s health, but for the way an illness affects a person’s “family and economic stability.”**
- new language requiring physicians to respect patient independence.
- a directive for physicians to share their medical research and knowledge “for the benefit of their patients and the advancement of healthcare.”