Hippocratic and Judeo-Christian Medical Ethics Defended
National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 2008 Summer; 8(2): 245-254
The Hippocratic oath and ethic have guided medicine for twenty-five hundred years. In the past thirty years there has been an effort to discredit the Hippocratic tradition. The mantra has been "the Hippocratic ethic is dead." An article by Robert Veatch and Carol Mason, "Hippocratic vs. Judeo-Christian Medical Ethics," epitomizes the anti-Hippocratic crusade. Veatch and Mason make three points: (1) there is no continuity between the oath and Judeo-Christian ethics; (2) the oath is flawed; and, more important, (3) the Hippocratic tradition is at variance with modern social contract ethics. This essay rebuts each of these contentions.
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