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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: May 2012

23 - The Discourses of Practitioners in Ancient Europe

from PART VI - THE DISCOURSES OF PRACTITIONERS ON MEDICAL ETHICS
Summary
The image of Hippocrates and the precepts of the Hippocratic Oath and related texts had an important influence on medical ethics in Europe and the Middle East from the ancient period onward. The relative insecurity of medicine within the social order partly accounts for the overt preoccupation with reputation, and likewise for the defensive and often polemical tone with which some Hippocratic writer's stake out the claims of their new, nonmagical medicine. Several versions of the Oath were attributed to Hippocrates in antiquity. The inclusion of numerous abortifacients in the doctor's pharmacological arsenal suggest that at least some Hippocratics also dispensed such drugs, as did numerous later Greek physicians. In other Hellenistic medical works, some of the emphases traced in the Hippocratic Corpus also emerge. Galen's valorization of truthfulness with one's patients is to some extent at odds with emphases in the postclassical Hippocratic deontological treatises.
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The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics
  • Online ISBN: 9781139195812
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521888790
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