On “oaths” and “apostasy” in the Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition

  1. Lemma
  2. О «клятвах» и «клятвоотступничестве» в Св. Писании и Св. Предании
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 04-07-2018
  7. Артюхин, Мелхиседек [Author]. О «клятвах» и «клятвоотступничестве» в Св. Писании и Св. Предании
  8. Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.
  9. medicine - Hippocrates - Hippocratic Oath - Russian Orthodox Church - Orthodox doctors - paganism - Saint Basil the Great
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Артюхин, Мелхиседек (2008). О «клятвах» и «клятвоотступничестве» в Св. Писании и Св. Предании. <em>Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.</em> Retrieved from: <a href="http://bioethics.orthodoxy.ru/biblioteka/khristianstvo-i-meditsina/242-">http://bioethics.orthodoxy.ru/biblioteka/khristianstvo-i-meditsina/242-</a> </p>
    1. Many Orthodox doctors pose the question regarding whether it is appropriate for a Christian to make an oath. In the Old Testament there are instances when oaths are clearly forbidden for humans. Yet God himself swore to Abraham and David. George of Amastris (died 802 AD) thought that any Divine word is an oath because God’s nature is truth. This brings another question: can humans make oaths, given their imperfect and non-pure status after the Fall? This is why Gregory Nazianzus (329-390 AD) thought that humans should make an oath either very rarely or never do it at all. However, Russian theologian Grigory Dyachenko (1850-1903) believed that oaths are at times necessary and are not a sin. In this context, a doctor’s oath is compatible with Christian ethics where there are no references to pagan traditions.

      The beginning of the original Hippocratic oath starts with an allegiance to the pagan gods of Ancient Greece, but the modern version of the Hippocratic oath does not contain references to pagan gods. The author believes that Christians should see if the oath has any pagan essence; a pagan essence exits only when there is a deliberate idea of harming another person. The author suggests criteria for oaths developed by Basil of Caesarea (329-379 AD): is God’s name used in the oath; in what words is it presented; what is the spiritual state of the person taking the oath? A doctor’s oath in Russia is secular and does not contain the name of God; it is therefore not an oath in a religious sense. At the same time this oath puts responsibility on the doctor toward his or her patients, colleagues, and society. The author believes that ideally, the doctors’ oath should confirm the supremacy of human life as a main value that forbids abortion and euthanasia. He interprets Saint Basil’s criteria on the spiritual state as inclinations of a young doctor to do good to others. If society accepts such inclinations in the form of ethical documents for medical organizations and legal acts then it will strengthen the trust of society toward the medical community.