Monday, February 26, 2007

More on Hippocratic Oath

In his comment this morning Mr.Roland Halpern said: "Dr. Steve Miles researched the Oath in its historical context and is of the opinion that the reference to not giving a deadly drug had nothing to do with physician aid in dying, but rather was an admonition to doctors not to use their position of trust to gain access to those in power for the purposes of assassinating them. It appears that during the time the Oath was apparently “written” (the first copies weren’t found until hundreds of years latter) there was a lot of political upheaval in Greece and it was not uncommon for politicians to eliminate their competition. Miles points out that many physicians were servants of the state, very much like soldiers, and could be given orders to poison the enemy"

I do not profess to be a scholar of Hippocratic Oath, and am thankful to Mr. Roland Halpern for his valuable comment. Dr. Miles' interpretation of the classical version further supports my contention that there is no prohibition against physicians’ participation in assisted suicide and/or lethal injection.
Furthermore, it is my strong belief that physicians have moral, professional and legal obligation not to abandon their dying patients, especially when they are most vulnerable and dependent. To abandon a dying patient would be hypocritical and nihilistic.

Keep reading. Keep writing. Be Well!

No comments: