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Page 5

The Physician's Oath

 

    The oath which all this brotherhood has sworn is noble and notable. Here are some of the main provisions:

"I swear by Apollo the Physician, and Asclepius and Hygeia; a [Lady Health] and Panaceia [Lady All-Cure] to honor as my parents the master who taught me this art, and to admit to my own instruction only his sons, my own sons, and those who have been duly inscribed as pupils, and who have taken the medical oath, and no others. I will prescribe such treatment as may be for the benefit of my patients, according to my best power and judgment, and preserve them from anything hurtful or mischievous. I will never, even if asked, administer poison, nor advise its use. I will never give a criminal draught to a woman. I will maintain the purity and integrity of my art. Wherever I go, I will abstain from all mischief or corruption, or any immodest action. If ever I hear any secret I will not divulge it. If I keep this oath, may the gods give me success in life and in my art. If I break this oath, may all the reverse fall upon me."[7]

 

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