The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine

The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine

3.7 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
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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

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 137.2 x 205.7 x 17.8mm | 408.24g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 1 map, 5 charts
  • 0195188209
  • 9780195188202
  • 1,167,279

Table of contents

The Oath ; Map of Ancient Greece ; 1. Grand Rounds ; PART 1: PHYSICIAN, WHO ARE YOU? ; 2. Creators ; 3. Teachers ; 4. Learners ; PART 2: TO WHAT ARE PHYSICIANS COMMITTED? ; 5. The Health of the Public ; 6. Deadly Drugs ; 7. Abortion ; 8. Integrity ; 9. Errors ; 10. Consent and Truth-Telling ; 11. Exploiting Patients ; 12. Discretion in Speech ; PART 3: IN WHAT WAY ARE PHYSICIANS ACCOUNTABLE? ; 13. A Trustworthy Profession ; AFTERWORD: THE OATH FOR OUR TIME ; APPENDIX A: TIME LINE ; APPENDIX B: THE OATH AS A CURRICULAR OUTLINE FOR MEDICAL ETHICS
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Review quote

" through its phrases with admirable skill. . . . Miles's reading of the oath is illuminating. . . . He finds, as few commentators have, a dimension of social justice in the oath by distinguishing between the public and private activities of the Greek physician, both of which were governed by concepts of beneficence and justice. He concludes with a pertinent insight: noting that the oath, unlike modern codes and principles was composed to be proclaimed
in the first person, he writes that its "authors spoke explicitly of the necessity for each physician to reveal his professional moral commitments. The first person voice may be part of the energy behind the Oaths endurance." Finally, teachers of medical ethics may appreciate Miles's outline of a
course designed around the phrases of the oath." -New England Journal of Medicine "Miles's reading of the oath is illuminating." -New England Journal of Medicine "Despite the influence of the Hippocratic Oath on Western medicine, few comprehensive analyses of the Oath have been performed. As a result, this text is an important contribution to the medical ethics literature. It is easy to read, comprehensive, and well referenced." -Mayo Clinical Proceedings " The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine contains a wealth of background material. It is concise, well written, and intellectually nourishing, a road map for exploration into antiquity. It is a must for scholars and an interesting read for anyone concerned with medical ethics. -JAMA
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Rating details

10 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 20% (2)
4 30% (3)
3 50% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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