Hippocratic vs. Judeo-Christian Medical Ethics: Principles in Conflict

Journal of Religious Ethics 15 (1):86 - 105 (1987)
It is widely presumed, at least among typical Western physicians and medical lay persons, that the Hippocratic and the Judeo-Christian traditions in medical ethics are closely connected or at least compatible. We examine the historical, metaethical, and normative relationships between them, and we find virtually no evidence of any historical links prior to the ninth century. In fact, important differences between them are found. The Hippocratic Oath appears to reflect the environment of a Greek mystery cult. It includes a commitment to secrecy and a sense of community alien to Judeo-Christian tradition. Differences between the two traditions on the issues of killing and life prolongation, abortion, surgery, and normative ethical principles including truth-telling, autonomy, and justice are also explored. We conclude that important differences not only exist but also raise serious problems for persons identifying with both traditions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    7 ( #149,727 of 1,088,427 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,427 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.