| 11.1°C Belfast

Close

Premium


Alban Maginness

Dail's assisted suicide Bill makes a mockery of Hippocratic Oath

Alban Maginness


Draft law incompatible with principle of 'first do no harm'

Close

Debate: The Dail could pass the Dying with Dignity Bill

Debate: The Dail could pass the Dying with Dignity Bill

Debate: The Dail could pass the Dying with Dignity Bill

The father of the scientific study of medicine was a Greek doctor called Hippocrates, who lived between 460 and 370 BCE. His innovative studies influenced the development of medicine as a serious science for many centuries.

He lived 400 years before the Christian era and was what we would call today a pagan. The Hippocratic Oath, which doctors signed up to until recent times when they graduated in medicine, is traditionally attributed to him.

In that ancient pagan oath, doctors swore that, in treating their patients, they would "first do no harm" (primum non nocere).