Letter: The doctors' oath

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The Independent Culture
Sir: When are the media going to give the Hippocratic Oath a decent (pagan) burial? Your report on Sir Kenneth Calman's personal interpretation of it simply perpetuates the myth. When I qualified as a doctor in 1981, I was asked to swear nothing, but advised to keep up my defence society subscriptions. I have yet to meet a colleague who admits to practising according to Hippocrates' principles.

Non-compliance with the oath (which most of the press and public have never read) is often used as a stick to beat the medical profession. We have moved on a long way from Hippocrates, although the wheel is turning and some of his ideas are being openly debated again.


Gillingham, Kent