Classic Version of the Hippocratic Oath:
“I swear by Apollo the Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents, and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he needs money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage, and to teach them this art – if they desire to learn it – without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.
I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness, I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favour of such men as are engaged in this work. Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves. What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment regarding the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.
If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honoured with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live, and remembered with affection thereafter? May I always act to preserve the finest traditions of my calling, and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”
Isn’t it strange that one of the most important industries designed in equal parts to help mankind with all their ailments isn’t equally bound by the Hippocratic Oath?
Isn’t it further strange that they are driven more by “market forces,” a Keynesian economic construct? Driven by “market forces,” a distinctly modern Miltonian economic construct and the illogical and unprovable economic philosophy of neoliberalism? Does profit trump personal safety, loosely interpreted as the health of all the individual parts of humankind?
Next: The Opioid Crisis and the use of Drug Therapy……..