In Switzerland, the Hippocratic oath, stating the obligations and proper conduct of doctors, has been given a make-over.
40 doctors at the cantonal hospital of Fribourg recently gathered to take a new
oath, the aim of which is to counter the trend towards making medicine too money-focused. They have pledged to withstand economic pressure to operate when it's not absolutely necessary.
"The Swiss Oath" was drawn up by the umbrella group for Swiss surgeons. The Swiss Medical Association external linkis expected to introduce it at other hospitals around the county.
The Hippocratic Oathexternal link is one of the oldest and most widely known codes of ethics. The original text is attributed to Hippocrates, a Greek physician commonly credited with beginning the practice of medicine as a rational science. Its most basic principle was that a doctor must always cure patients, but never harm them. It also discussed respecting teachers, passing medical knowledge to new generations and keeping patients’ secrets. Many of these principles are still part of medical culture. Swearing a modified form of the Oath remains a rite of passage for medical graduates in many countries.