Although it has always been attributed to Hippocrates, Greek physician, 5th cent B.C., who actually wrote it, when and under what circumstances is unknown.
Classic and Modern Hippocrates; Oath of Maimonides; Physicians Oath (Geneva); Independent
Most graduating physicians still swear to the Hippocratic Oath, either classic or modern versions
Although written in antiquity, the Hippocratic Oath still expess the principles for the ideal conduct for the physician: treat the sick to the best of your ability, respect patient confidentiality, etc. Today, most graduating medical-school students swear to some form of this oath, usually a modernized version.
However many physicians feel that the Hippocratic Oath is increasingly inadequate to address the realities of modern medicine. Secularization of society, birth control, euthanasia, gene therapy, medical specialization and government involvement are just a few of complexities that the oath does not seem to address. While the original oath was taken as a binding convenant, to many physicians the oathtaking is now just a nod to tradition and devoid of any influence on them and modern medical practice.
Other physicians think that the principles enshrine a shared core of moral values that are still relevant to all physicians. Moreover the oath's pagan origins lifts it above any religious beliefs of modern religions.
Rewrite it or abandon it altogether? What do you think?