Hippocratic Oath

It should be instructive to compare this translation of the original Hippocratic Oath from the 4th Century BC, with the subsequent 1995 and 2009 revisions.

Original Oath of Hippocrates

I swear by Apollo, Physician and Aesclepius, Hygeia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witness, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgement, this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live in partnership to him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brother in male lineage and to teach them this art – if they deserve to learn it – without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgement; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even from sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favour of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever house I visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

Whatever I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honoured with fame among all men for all time to come. If I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.

Translated by J. Chadwick and W.N. Mann 1950