This short work examines what the HippocraticOath said to Greek physicians 2400 years ago and reflects on its relevance to medical ethics today. Drawing on the writings of ancient physicians, Greek playwrights, and modern scholars, each chapter explores one passage of the Oath and concludes with a modern case discussion. This book is for anyone who loves medicine and is concerned about the ethics and history of the profession.
The HippocraticOath, the Hippocratic tradition, and Hippocratic ethics are widely invoked in the popular medical culture as conveying a direction to medical practice and the medical profession. This study critically addresses these invocations of Hippocratic guideposts, noting that reliance on the Hippocratic ethos and the Oath requires establishingwhat the Oath meant to its author, its original community of reception, and generally for ancient medicine what relationships contemporary invocations of the Oath (...) and the tradition have to the original meaning of the Oath and its original reception what continuity exists and under what circumstances over the last two-and-a-half millenniums of medical-moral reflections what continuity there is in the meaning of professionalism from the time of Hippocrates to the 21st century, and what social factors in particular have transformed the medical profession in particular countries. This article argues that the resources for a better understanding of medical professionalism lie not in the HippocraticOath, tradition, or ethos in and of themselves. Rather, it must be found in a philosophy of medicine that explores the values internal to medicine, thus providing a medical-moral philosophy so as to be able to resist the deformation of medical professionalism by bioethics, biopolitics, and governmental regulation. The Oath, as well as Stephen H. Miles' recent monograph, The HippocraticOath and the Ethics of Medicine, are employed as heuristics, so as to throw into better light the extent to which the HippocraticOath, tradition, and ethics can provide guidance and direction, as well as to show the necessity of taking seriously the need for a substantive philosophy of medicine. (shrink)
Contrary to the common view, this paper suggests that the Hippocraticoath does not directly refer to the controversial subjects of euthanasia and abortion. We interpret the oath in the context of establishing trust in medicine through departure from Pantagruelism. Pantagruelism is coined after Rabelais' classic novel Gargantua and Pantagruel. His satire about a wonder herb, Pantagruelion, is actually a sophisticated model of anti-medicine in which absence of independent moral values and of properly conducted research fashion a (...) flagrant over-medicalization of human problems. Ultimately this undermines the therapeutic core of medicine itself. We contend that PAS is a case of such over-medicalization and that its institution creates medicophobia. This article does not express an opinion about euthanasia in general. Rather, we claim that physicians should learn from the oath and from Rabelais that they should keep their practice to medical care and not to exploit their expertise and social privileges for the sake of ulterior motives, even when their patients desire those goals. (shrink)
As an example of Aristotle's genre of epideictic, or ceremonial rhetoric, the HippocraticOath has the capacity to persuade its self-addressing audience to appreciate the value of the medical profession by lending an element of stability to the shifting ethos of health care. However, the values it celebrates do not accurately capture communally shared norms about contemporary medical practice. Its multiple and sometimes conflicting versions, anachronistic references, and injunctions that resist translation into specific conduct diminish its longer-term persuasive (...) force. Only when expunged of these elements and reconstructed using values over which there is widespread agreement can the Oath succeed in moving its audience from core values located in past discussions to principled action in the future. (shrink)
Smith, Wesley J The growth in policies that force healthcare workers to participate in activities that are deemed both immoral and unprofessional as against the sanctity of human life has given rise to the need for bringing about conscience in health care. The need for fashioning proper conscience clauses and challenges faced in its implementation are highlighted.
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 HippocraticOath 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. (shrink)
The trouble with business schools -- The great, but delicate experiment -- A hippocraticoath for business -- Six more arguments for the MBA oath -- The purpose of a manager -- Ethics and integrity -- No man is an island : stakeholders -- Ambition and good faith -- The letter and the spirit : law -- The sunlight of responsibility : transparency -- Personal and professional growth -- Sustainable prosperity : a partnership for living well -- (...) Accountability. (shrink)
The first code of professional ethics must: (1)be a code of ethics; (2) apply to members of a profession; (3) apply to allmembers of that profession; and (4) apply only to members of that profession. The value of these criteria depends on how we define “code”, “ethics”, and “profession”, terms the literature on professions has defined in many ways. This paper applies one set of definitions of “code”, “ethics”, and “profession” to a part of what we now know of the (...) history of professions, there by illustrating how the choice of definition can alter substantially both our answer to the question of which came first and (more importantly) our understanding of professional codes (and the professions that adopt them). Because most who write on codes of professional ethics seem to take for granted that physicians produced the first professional code, whether the HippocraticOath, Percival’s Medical Ethics, the 1847 Code of Ethicsof the American Medical Association (AMA), or some other document, I focus my discussion on these codes. (shrink)
A physician says, "I have an ethical obligation never to cause the death of a patient," another responds, "My ethical obligation is to relieve pain even if the patient dies." The current argument over the role of physicians in assisting patients to die constantly refers to the ethical duties of the profession. References to the HippocraticOath are often heard. Many modern problems, from assisted suicide to accessible health care, raise questions about the traditional ethics of medicine and (...) the medical profession. However, few know what the traditional ethics are and how they came into being. This book provides a brief tour of the complex story of medical ethics evolved over centuries in both Western and Eastern culture. It sets this story in the social and cultural contexts in which the work of healing was practiced and suggests that, behind the many different perceptions about the ethical duties of physicians, certain themes appear constantly, and may be relevant to modern debates. The book begins with the Hippocratic medicine of ancient Greece, moves through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe, and the long history of Indian and Chinese medicine, ending as the problems raised modern medical science and technology challenge the settled ethics of the long tradition. (shrink)
From the HippocraticOath on, deontological codes and other professional self-regulation mechanisms have been used to legitimize and identify professional groups. New technological challenges and, above all, changes in the socioeconomic environment require adaptable codes which can respond to new demands. We assume that ethical codes for professionals should not simply focus on regulative functions, but must also consider ideological and educative functions. Any adaptations should take into account both contents (values, norms and recommendations) and the drafting process (...) itself. (shrink)
It always struck me as interesting that a major tenet in the HippocraticOath, an oath that in various forms has been taken by many physicians around the world for almost 2,000 years, is simply, "Do no harm to your patients." The positive injunctions are few; but that negative injunction jumps right out at you. Why would it even be necessary to ask a future physician to promise something like that? It is as if Hippocrates understood that, (...) of all the power a physician has, much of it enormously positive and beneficial, one item needs most to be checked: the almost unprecedented capacity to harm a person, legally. (shrink)
Background The aim of the study is to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices among healthcare professionals in Barbados in relation to healthcare ethics and law in an attempt to assist in guiding their professional conduct and aid in curriculum development. Methods A self-administered structured questionnaire about knowledge of healthcare ethics, law and the role of an Ethics Committee in the healthcare system was devised, tested and distributed to all levels of staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados (a (...) tertiary care teaching hospital) during April and May 2003. Results The paper analyses 159 responses from doctors and nurses comprising junior doctors, consultants, staff nurses and sisters-in-charge. The frequency with which the respondents encountered ethical or legal problems varied widely from 'daily' to 'yearly'. 52% of senior medical staff and 20% of senior nursing staff knew little of the law pertinent to their work. 11% of the doctors did not know the contents of the HippocraticOath whilst a quarter of nurses did not know the Nurses Code. Nuremberg Code and Helsinki Code were known only to a few individuals. 29% of doctors and 37% of nurses had no knowledge of an existing hospital ethics committee. Physicians had a stronger opinion than nurses regarding practice of ethics such as adherence to patients' wishes, confidentiality, paternalism, consent for procedures and treating violent/non-compliant patients (p = 0.01) Conclusion The study highlights the need to identify professionals in the workforce who appear to be indifferent to ethical and legal issues, to devise means to sensitize them to these issues and appropriately training them. (shrink)
Taking the critical turn is one of the main tools of the humanities and inculcates an intellectual discipline that prevents ossification of thinking about issues and of organizational policies in clinical ethics. The articles in this "Clinical Ethics" number of the Journal take the critical turn with respect to cherished ways of thinking in Western clinical ethics, life extension, the clinical determination of death, physicians' duty to treat even at personal risk, clinical ethics at the interface of research ethics, and (...) the pertinence of the HippocraticOath to clinical ethics. These articles challenge clinical ethicists to inculcate the intellectual discipline of the critical turn into everyday practice and continuous quality enhancement of clinical ethics. (shrink)
While ancient in origin, the principle, "Do No Harm," continues to occupy a prominent place in many present-day medical ethics codes. Of all the versions of the principle two distinct varieties can be distinguished. These parallel two ethical traditions. This paper develops the contrast between the two versions, relates them to the two ongoing ethical traditions, and then uses insights from contemporary ethical theory to demonstrate the significance of one of the versions. Finally it suggests some contemporary applications for a (...) medical ethic and medical education. Keywords: HippocraticOath, harm, intention, agency CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment. I will keep them from harm and injustice. The HippocraticOath formulates the ethical principle of medical beneficence and its negative formulation non-maleficence. It relates medical ethics to the traditional end of medicine, that is, to heal, or to make whole. First and foremost, the duty of the physician is to heal, and if this is not possible at least not to (...) harm. This ethical principle helped to establish the necessary trust between physician and patient in the pre-modern era when most of medicine was nothing more than a set of placebos (Shapiro 1960). Beginning in the seventeenth-century, Western .. (shrink)
Burns, C. R. Introduction.--Antiquity: Margalith, D. The ideal doctor as depicted in ancient Hebrew writings. Edelstein, L. The Hippocraticoath. Edelstein, L. The professional ethics of the Greek physician. Michler, M. Medical ethics in Hippocratic bone surgery. Maas, P. L., Oliver, J. H. An ancient poem on the duties of a physician.--The medieval era: Levey, M. Medical deontology in ninth century Islam. Bar-Sela, A., Hoff, H. E. Isaac Israeli's fifty admonitions of the physicians. Rosner, F. The physician's (...) prayer attributed to Moses Maimonides. MacKinney, L. C. Medical ethics and etiquette in the early middle ages, the persistence of Hippocratic ideals. Welborn, M. C. The long tradition, a study in fourteenth-century medical deontology.--The modern period: Larkey, S. V. The Hippocraticoath in Elizabethan England. Pleadwell, F. L. Samuel Sorbiere and his Advice to a young physician. Clark, G. Bernard Mandeville, M.D., and eighteenth-century ethics. Burns, C. R. Thomas Percival, medical ethics or medical jurisprudence? Burns, C. R. Reciprocity in the development of Anglo-American medical ethics, 1765-1865. Williams, T. F. Cabot, Peabody, and the care of the patient. (shrink)
While there has been much discussion about the role of oaths in medical ethics, this discussion has previously centered on the content of various oaths. Little conceptual work has been done to clarify what an oath is, or to show how an oath differs from a promise or a code of ethics, or to explore what general role oath-taking by physicians might play in medical ethics. Oaths, like promises, are performative utterances. But oaths are generally characterized by (...) their greater moral weight compared with promises, their public character, their validation by transcendent appeal, the involvement of the personhood of the swearer, the prescription of consequences for failure to uphold their contents, the generality of the scope of their contents, the prolonged time frame of the commitment, the fact that their moral force remains binding in spite of failures on the part of those to whom the swearer makes the commitment, and the fact that interpersonal fidelity is the moral hallmark of the commitment of the swearer. Oaths are also distinct from codes. Codes are collections of specific moral rules. Codes are not performative utterances. They do not commit future intentions and do not involve the personhood of the one enjoined by the code. Recent attacks on oath-taking by physicians are discussed. Two arguments in favor of oath-taking are presented: one on the basis of the nature of medicine as a profession and the other on the basis of rule-utilitarian considerations. No attempt is made to define which oath a physician should swear. (shrink)
"I do solemnly swear" -- Economics in practice : what do economists do? -- Ethical challenges confronting the applied economist -- Historical perspective : "don't predict the interest rate!" -- Interpreting the silence : the economic case against professional economic ethics -- The economic case against professional economic ethics : a rebuttal -- The positive case for professional economic ethics -- Learning from others : ethical thought across the professions -- Economists as social engineers : an ethical evaluation of market (...) liberalization in the south and transition economies -- Global economic crisis and the crisis in economics -- On sleeping too well : in search of professional economic ethics -- Training the "ethical economist" -- The economist's oath. (shrink)
Summary The model underlying the hippocratic humoral theory, as well as the corresponding part of hippocratic aetiology is reconstructed in precise, structuralist terms. Stress is laid on the presentation of the model, historical and philological derivations are suppressed. The global net structure of humoral theory in which the different diseases are described as specializations of the basic model is worked out, and the particular metatheoretical features of âtherapeuticalâ theories, as contrasted to âdescriptiveâ theories, are exemplified and stated in (...) general. (shrink)
Many readers will share the judgment that, having made an oath, there is something morally worse about consequently performing the immoral action, such as embezzling, that one swore not to do. Why would it be worse? To answer this question, I consider three moral-theoretic accounts of why it is “extra” wrong to violate oaths not to perform wrong actions, with special attention paid to those made in economic contexts. Specifically, I address what the moral theories of utilitarianism, Kantianism and (...) a new communitarian-relational principle entail for the wrongness of oath-breaking. I argue that the former two do not adequately capture why it is extra wrong to perform an immoral action that one swore not to do, but that the latter appeal to a morality of communal relationship offers a promising account. (shrink)
: This study investigates the changes in the body image that occurred in the crucial cultural transformations that took place at the outset of Western rational thought in the transition from Archaic age to Classical age Greece. It does so from the delimited perspective that is offered by the group of medical writings known as the Hippocratic Corpus (specifically works on prognostics, dietetics, and surgery) that were contemporary with the early Classical age, but it also suggests parallel changes occurring (...) in other cultural realms. The body images for that period are found to be diverse but yet all colored by the general transition from a ritual and praxis based experience of the world to one tempered by contemplative and dogmatic speculation. General observations are also made upon the use of the "body image" as a means of historical analysis in periods of cultural transformation. (shrink)
: Health care reform is bottled up. Socially responsible physicians, forced to curtail care to uninsured patients, should respond with organized, open defiance, by billing the costs of the care to the accounts of patients covered under Medicaid or Medicare. Reverse cost-shifting: maybe it could work, certainly it would be justified.
Following a clarification of the nature of the “sightedness” and “blindness” which Wittgenstein associated with religious and mystical apprehenson, I argue that his account fails in both its visual and its religious senses. I close with an assessment of the extent to which descriptive language can be used to induce a religious perspective in someone who presently lacks it.
Suppose that a very large number of people, say one billion, will suffer a moderately severe headache for the next twenty-four hours. For these billion people, the next twenty-four hours will be fairly unpleasant, though by no means unbearable. However, there will be no side-effects from these headaches; no drop in productivity in the work-place, no lapses in concentration leading to accidents, no unkind words spoken to loved ones that will later fester. Nonetheless, it is clearly desirable that these billion (...) people avoid the headaches. Even though the headaches are moderate, they are impervious to pain-killing drugs, acupuncture, transcendental meditation, and just about any other remedy. In fact, there is only one way in which the headaches can be avoided. In a remote South American village, a young woman, Agnes, is suffering from a fever. A simple dose of antibiotics will save her life, otherwise she will die. If, and only if, she dies, the billion headaches will be prevented. You just happen to be passing through the village, in full knowledge of the circumstances. Although not a doctor (and therefore not bound by codes of professional ethics, Hippocratic oaths, etc.), you possess the requisite dose of antibiotics, for which you have no other use, and which will become useless, if not used in the next two hours. (shrink)
It is widely noted that physicalism, taken as the doctrine that the world contains just what physics says it contains, faces a dilemma which, some like Tim Crane and D.H. Mellor have argued, shows that “physicalism is the wrong answer to an essentially trivial question”. I argue that both problematic horns of this dilemma drop out if one takes physicalism not to be a doctrine of the kind that might be true, false, or trivial, but instead an attitude or (...) class='Hi'>oath one takes to formulate one’s ontology solely according to the current posits of physics. (shrink)
This paper evaluates the arguments against physician assisted suicide which contend that it violates the integrity of medicine and the physician-patient relation; i.e. that it contradicts the goal of seeking health and healing, violates an absolute prohibition against killing, and undermines the patient's trust in the physician. These arguments against physician assisted suicide (1) misuse notions of teleology and teleological explanation; (2) rely on inappropriate notions of "ideal medicine", for which death is a defeat; (3) turn on a highly selective (...) reading for the Hippocratic tradition; and (4) are unacceptably paternalistic. Keywords: Hippocratic ethics, integrity in medicine, physician assisted suicide, physician-patient relation CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This book is a critical examination of Michel Foucault's relation to ancient Greek thought, in particular his famous analysis of Greek history of sexuality. Wolfgang Detel offers a new understanding of Foucault's theories of power and knowledge based on modern analytical theories of science and concepts of power. He offers a fresh and complex reading of the texts which Foucault discusses, covering topics such as Aristotle's ethics and theory of sex, Hippocratic diatetics, the earliest treatises on economics, and Plato's (...) theory of love. The result is a philosophically rich and probing critique of Foucault's later writings, and a persuasive account of the relation between ethics, power and knowledge in classical antiquity. His book will have a wide appeal to readers interested in Foucault and in Greek thought and culture. (shrink)
In dealing with an objection to the view of abortion presented in Chapter 6, we have already looked beyond abortion to infanticide. In so doing we will have confirmed the suspicion of supporters of the sanctity of human life that once abortion is accepted, euthanasia lurks around the next comer - and for them, euthanasia is an unequivocal evil. It has, they point out, been rejected by doctors since the fifth century B.C., when physicians first took the Oath of (...) Hippocrates and swore 'to give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel'. Moreover, they argue, the Nazi extermination programme is a recent and terrible example of what can happen once we give the state the power to MI innocent human beings. (shrink)
Our shared moral framework is negotiated as part of the social contract. Some elements of that framework are established (tell the truth under oath), but other elements lack an overlapping consensus (just when can an individual lie to protect his or her privacy?). The tidy bits of our accepted moral framework have been codified, becoming the subject of legal rather than ethical consideration. Those elements remaining in the realm of ethics seem fragmented and inconsistent. Yet, our engineering students will (...) need to navigate the broken ground of this complex moral landscape. A minimalist approach would leave our students with formulated dogma—principles of right and wrong such as the National Society for Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics for Engineers—but without any insight into the genesis of these principles. A slightly deeper, micro-ethics approach would teach our students to solve ethical problems by applying heuristics—giving our students a rational process to manipulate ethical dilemmas using the same principles simply referenced a priori by dogma. A macro-ethics approach—helping students to inductively construct a posteriori principles from case studies—goes beyond the simple statement or manipulation of principles, but falls short of linking personal moral principles to the larger, social context. Ultimately, it is this social context that requires both the application of ethical principles, and the negotiation of moral values—from an understanding of meta-ethics. (shrink)
Painted in 1656 by Diego Velasquez (1599-1660), Las Meninas has engendered countless philosophical commentaries. Artists, too, have explored the painting's puzzles and paradoxes. All of the responses to this masterpiece, now over 350 years old, show that Las Meninas continues to live with us on several levels. Indeed, Las Meninas is one of the most controversial paintings of our time (Brown and Garrido, 1998, p. 181); no small feat given that cutting-edge art today is often media-based and/or media-driven. The wealth (...) of controversy has generated so much material since the work's conception that James Elkins, in his book Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles, characterized Las Meninas as an artwork that has become monstrous. According to Elkins, it has effectively outgrown the discipline of art history. Like the frescos in the Brancacci Chapel, the Mona Lisa, Raphael's School of Athens and the Oath of Horatio by David, the scholarship surrounding Las Meninas is so vast that no single thinker or volume can present it fully; it is not even possible to teach these works in a yearlong seminar (Elkins, 1999). While I am among those captivated by the painting, I am also aware of how little a short essay can accomplish. Nevertheless, I do hope to convey why this immense canvas continues to inspire people creatively, intellectually, and passionately. In terms of consciousness, my comments are intended to weave the physicality of the work with epistemological interpretations and empirical investigations so that its mutability is more present in our consciousness discourse. (shrink)
Locke's Two Treatises of Government is (primarily) a work of practical (or applied) ethics rather than (as commonly supposed) political philosophy or (as some recent historians have argued) political propaganda. The problem is the oath of allegiance to James II. So interpreting it makes political obligation resemble the special moral obligations of profession rather than the general obligations of morality. Political obligation is the formal moral obligation to law that comes from voluntary participation in law-making (directly or through representatives (...) one helps to choose), a form of express consent. Ordinary moral obligations to law, those arising from considerations of justice, are, in contrast, much the same for ordinary residents as for foreign visitors. This is the domain of tacit consent. The right to organise a political society, including the right to exclude, derives from the natural right of free association. (shrink)
Aristotle is properly recognized as the originator of the scientific study of life. This is true despite the fact that many earlier Greek natural philosophers occasionally speculated on the origins of living things and much of the Hippocratic medical corpus, which was written before or during Aristotle's lifetime, displays a serious interest in human anatomy, physiology and pathology. Even Plato has Timaeus devote a considerable part of his speech to the human body and its functions (and malfunctions). Nevertheless, before (...) Aristotle, only a few of the Hippocratic treatises are both systematic and empirical, and their focus is exclusively on human health and disease. (shrink)
Translator's summary and notes: Karl Jaspers (1883–1969) argues that modern advances in the natural sciences and in technology have exerted transforming influence on the art of clinical medicine and on its ancient Hippocratic ideal, even though Plato's classical argument about slave physicians and free physicians retains essential relevance for the physician of today.Medicine should be rooted not only in science and technology, but in the humanity of the physician as well. Jaspers thus shows how, within the mind of every (...) medical person, the researcher contests with the physician and the technician with the humanist. (shrink)
: The principle of equipoise traditionally is grounded in the special obligations of physician-investigators to provide research participants with optimal care. This grounding makes the principle hard to apply in contexts with limited health resources, to research that is not directed by physicians, or to non-therapeutic research. I propose a different version of the principle of equipoise that does not depend upon an appeal to the Hippocratic duties of physicians and that is designed to be applicable within a wider (...) range of research contexts and types—including health services research and research on social interventions. I consider three examples of ethically contentious research trials conducted in three different social settings. I argue that in each case my version of the principle of equipoise provides more plausible and helpful guidance than does the traditional version of the principle. (shrink)
In apparent conflict with the popular conception of veterinarians as animals' best friends, the Veterinarian's Oath, as well as its clarifying Principles of Animal Welfare, imply that animal welfare is entirely derivative from human welfare. This article calls for an explicit alignment of the Oath and Principles with the priority of nonhuman animals.
When People were falsely accused, and yet there existed no human means to testify to the truth, to whom did they resort for the final judgment? In ancient India, it was a sort of ordeal ( divya ), which was inseparable from oath ( śapatha ) and act of truth ( satya-kriyā ). Here we present some examples and investigate who appear in these contexts. As a result, we could classify them into (1) mahā−bhuūta (fire, wind, water, etc.), (2) (...) heavenly bodies (sun moon, etc.), (3) inner principles (heart, soul, etc.) and (4) gods (Agni, Vāyu, Indra, Yama, etc.). All these witnesses observe ( paś -) the act of a human being, right as well as wrong, either transcendently from above like the sun, or immanently from inside like wind which circulates human body in the form of vital breath. (shrink)
Largely, the concept of energy or vital force, as first analysed by Placide Tempels in Bantu Philosophy , permeates most African ontology systems, worldviews and life views. The Ntomba Chief is chosen because of his above average vital force. This puts him in the position of intermediary between the Supreme Being, the ancestors, and his subordinates. The waning of his energy is incompatible with his position because his energy is that of his tribe. When installed, he takes an oath (...) that, when this happens, he has to accept mohilo , the 'hastening of death'. In the Chief's case, the hastening of death is not intended to relieve his pain, as it would be with other creatures. The Chief's dying a natural death would result in the loss of the entire community's vital force. Therefore, he has to be killed ritually to avoid that risk. That the Chief agrees to be killed – via a form of advanced directive – poses an ethical dilemma for a Western observer. From the Ntomba perspective, however, where the energy is being, and being is energy, it is the only way to preserve and protect the community's raison d'être. (shrink)
Modern medicine faces fundamental challenges that various approaches to the philosophy of medicine have tried to address. One of these approaches is based on the ancient concept of phronesis. This paper investigates whether this concept can be used as a moral basis for the challenges facing modern medicine and, in particular, analyses phronesis as it is applied in the works of Pellegrino and Thomasma. It scrutinises some difficulties with a phronesis-based theory, specifically, how it presupposes a moral community of professionals. (...) It is argued that Pellegrino and Thomasma's concept of phronesis corresponds to a Hippocratic concept of tï¿½chnï¿½, and that this latter concept seems to address many of the challenging issues Pellegrino and Thomasma also address. Thus, if modern medicine is to find its philosophical model in ancient concepts, it appears that the Hippocratic tï¿½chnï¿½ is closer to the ancient concept of medicine than the Aristotelian phronesis, and that it might avoid many of the pitfalls of a phronesis-based approach. (shrink)
The Hippocratic Aphorisms is a well-known treatise which was very popular throughout the ages. This paper studies the Arabic translation of [Hdotu]unayn ibn Ishaq, the renowned Arab translator, of the first book of the Aphorisms as well as the commentary of Ibn al-Nafis, the thirteenth-century Arab doctor, on the same book. This study highlights the difficulties that occasionally confronted the Arab commentator while commenting. The obscurity of a few Hippocratic sentences as well as [Hdotu]unayn's interpretation and alteration in (...) meaning were probable sources for those difficulties. Ibn al-Nafis, however, was unaware of the role played by [Hdotu]unayn in shaping the Arabic text. Ibn al-Nafis reflected a deep trust in the Arabic text to the degree of commenting on every single word. He used both his intellect and his knowledge of other commentaries to solve those problematic phrases. He did not exhibit an interest in philological matters to help explain the text. His commentaries reflect his respect and appreciation for both Hippocrates and Galen, the latter of whom exercised some influence on [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis in their understanding of the work. Nonetheless both [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis showed traces of independence from Galen's influence. (shrink)