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The Hippocratic Oath






In the name of suffering humanity; with humility, compassion and dedication to the welfare of the sick according to the best of my ability and judgement; I will keep this oath.

I will be honest with my patients in all medical matters. When this honesty reveals bad news I will deliver it with sympathy, understanding and tact.

I will attempt to provide whatever information my patients need so that I can care for them more effectively.

I will provide my patients with acceptable alternatives in diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment, explaining the risks and benefits of each alternative as best as I know them.

I will encourage my patients to seek medical opinions other than my own before accepting that offered by me.

I will allow my patients to make the ultimate decision about their own care. When they are incapable of making decisions, I will accept the decision of their family members or loved ones, encouraging these surrogates to decide as they believe the patient would have decided.

I will provide care to all patients regardless of sex, race, creed, sexual preference, lifestyle or economic status. In particular, I will volunteer some of my time to providing free care to the poor, the homeless, the disadvantaged, the dispossessed and the helpless.

I will not sit in moral judgement on any patient but will treat the illness to the best of my ability regardless of the circumstances. I will be empathetic to patients suffering from illnesses caused by alcohol, drugs or other forms of self-abuse.

I will turn away no patient, even those with dreaded, contagious diseases like AIDS.

Knowing my own inadequacies and those of medicine generally, I will strive to cure when possible, relieve and comfort always.

I shall perform medical tests only if there is a reasonable chance that the results will improve the outcome for my patients. I will not perform any tests or procedures or surgery solely to make money.

I will freely refer my patients to other physicians if I am convinced that their treatment is better than mine.

I will freely furnish copies of medical records to the patient or, when authorised by the patient, to the family, upon request. I will do unto patients and their families only what I would want done unto me or my family. I will not experiment upon patients unless they give truly informed consent. I will strive to instruct patients fully so that truly informed consent is possible.

I will remain a student all my professional life, attempting to learn not only from formal medical sources but from my patients as well. I will apply the lessons they provide to the care of other patients.

I will treat my professional colleagues with respect and honour; but I will not hesitate to testify openly about physicians and medical institutions that are guilty of malpractice, malfeasance, cupidity or fraud.

I will defend with equal fervor colleagues who are unjustly accused of malpractice, malfeasance, cupidity or fraud




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