Oaths for Physicians -- Necessary Protection or Elaborate Hoax?

Erich H. Loewy, MD

In This Article

Yale Oath:


Now, as a new doctor, I solemnly promise that I will to the best of my ability serve humanity caring for the sick, promoting good health, and alleviating pain and suffering. I recognize that the practice of medicine is a privilege with which comes considerable responsibility and I will not abuse my position. I will practice medicine with integrity, humility, honesty, and compassion working with my fellow doctors and other colleagues to meet the needs of my patients. I shall never intentionally do or administer anything to the overall harm of my patients. I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, nationality, or social standing to influence my duty of care. I will oppose policies in breach of human rights and will not participate in them. I will strive to change laws that are contrary to my profession's ethics and will work towards a fairer distribution of health resources [italics mine]. I will assist my patients to make informed decisions that coincide with their own values and beliefs and will uphold patient confidentiality. I will recognize the limits of my knowledge and seek to maintain and increase my understanding and skills throughout my professional life. I will acknowledge and try to remedy my own mistakes and honestly assess and respond to those of others. I will seek to promote the advancement of medical knowledge through teaching and research. I make this declaration solemnly, freely, and upon my honour.[7]


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