The Hippocratic Oath And The Ethics Of Medicine

Paperback | June 15, 2005

bySteven H. Miles

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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 concludeswith 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 workswritten 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 tobuild 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 andhistory of this profession.

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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 concludeswith a modern case discussion. The Oath pro...

Steven H. Miles is at University of Minnesota.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 5.39 × 8.11 × 0.79 inPublished:June 15, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195188209

ISBN - 13:9780195188202

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Table of Contents

1. Ground RoundsPART I Physicians, Who Are You?2. Creators3. Teachers4. LearnersPART II To What Are Physicians Committed?5. The Health of the Public6. Deadly Drugs7. Abortion8. Integrity9. Errors10. Consent and Truth-Telling11. Exploiting Patients12. Discretion in SpeechPART III In What Way Are Physicians Accountable?13. A Trustworthy ProfessionAfterword: The Oath for Our TimeAppendix A: Time LineAppendix B: The Oath as a Curricular Outline for Medical Ethics

Editorial Reviews

"...works 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 weregoverned 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 hisprofessional 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