Is the Hippocratic Oath compatible with Christian Ethics?

  1. Lemma
  2. Совместима ли «Клятва» Гиппократа с христианской моралью?
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 07-08-2018
  7. Силуянова, И.В. [Author]. Совместима ли «Клятва» Гиппократа с христианской моралью?
  8. Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.
  9. Hippocratic Oath - Hippocrates - abortion - euthanasia - ethics - Russian Orthodoxy
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Силуянова, И.В. (2010). Совместима ли «Клятва» Гиппократа с христианской моралью? <em>Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.</em> Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The author argues that the ethics surrounding the Hippocratic Oath is a precursor of Christian ethics. Hippocrates (460-377 BC) and his disciples laid the foundations of the concept of a doctor’s ethical responsibility. Christian doctors later adopted Hippocrates’ ethics. By pronouncing the Oath, the future doctor promises to teach his profession for free to other people for the common good. The Hippocratic medical community is a brotherhood of mutual support ruled by special medical ethics that distinguishes it from other professional communities. Hippocratic doctors, for example, must help patients and not seek profit from it. Doctors should not harm patients. The most important point in the Oath is inclusion of both free citizens and slaves into the category of patients because doctors, in the Hippocratic tradition, must not take into account social status distinctions.

      The tradition obliges doctors to refuse to participate in euthanasia even with a patient’s consent. This, according to the author, is the main ethical limit that distinguishes Christian tradition as well, as Christianity believes that only God can judge who should die or live. In Ancient Greece and Rome, suicide was a normal and respectable way of finishing one’s life, therefore the Hippocratic Oath was a challenge to the dominant culture of that time. Doctors also were not allowed to give women instruments for abortion though it does not talk about banning it. 

      Hippocrates taught that doctors must constantly seek perfection in both their skills and morals. Modern medical students especially dislike this point because they don’t want to be different from the rest of society and be guardians of high moral standards. The author believes that this is wrong because patients entrust their lives to doctors and this puts doctors in a position where they must inspire trust. Medical confidentiality is a cornerstone of the medical profession. In Christianity disease appears through God’s will, it is a personal experience of a patient and no one has the right to judge a person for having a disease. This is why, the author maintains, the relation between doctors and patients must be based on the principle of confidentiality.