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Hippocratic Oath
(757 words)

[German Version]

The so-called Hippocratic Oath is part of the Corpus Hippocraticum, the most important collection of medical writings of antiquity. The oath is wrongly ascribed: most likely it was not composed by Hippocrates himself. With the Hippocratic Oath physicians pledge to benefit their patients, to avoid doing harm, and to maintain secrecy. Voluntary euthanasia and certain kinds of abortion are also forbidden, as is sexual abuse of patients.

The original Hippocratic Oath reads as follows (translation as given by the National Institutes of Health in the United States):

“I sw…

Cite this page
Wiesing, Urban, “Hippocratic Oath”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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