DECLARATION OF GENEVA
A Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath
The Declaration of Geneva is a set of guidelines on human and patient rights. The need for an improvement in medical ethics became abundantly clear after the Nuremberg tribunal in which the medical experiments of Nazi doctors became world news. The horrific experiments of Japanese Unit 731 in Manchuria also came to light after World War II. Whereas the Nuremberg Code was drafted by the judiciary in the Doctors’ trial in Nuremberg, the case The United States of America vs. Karl Brandt, et al., the Declaration of Geneva is an initiative of the international medical association World Medical Association (WMA) and is intended as a modernized formulation of the time-honored Hippocratic Oath. It was hoped that a modern formulation of the moral truths of that oath could be better understood and acknowledged. According to the WMA, the statement is a ‘promise.’
By CF van der Horst
27 December 2022
THE DECLARATION OF GENEVA
Adopted by the 2 General Assembly of the World Medical Association, Geneva, Switzerland, September 1948
and amended by the 22 World Medical Assembly, Sydney, Australia, August 1968
and the 35 World Medical Assembly, Venice, Italy, October 1983
and the 46 WMA General Assembly, Stockholm, Sweden, September 1994
and editorially revised by the 170 WMA Council Session, Divonne-les-Bains, France, May 2005
and the 173 WMA Council Session, Divonne-les-Bains, France, May 2006
and amended by the 68 WMA General Assembly, Chicago, United States, October 2017.
The Physician’s Pledge
AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION:
I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to dedicate my life to the service of humanity;
THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;
I WILL RESPECT the autonomy and dignity of my patient;
I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;
I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity and in accordance with good medical practice;
I WILL FOSTER the honour and noble traditions of the medical profession;
I WILL GIVE to my teachers, colleagues, and students the respect and gratitude that is their due;
I WILL SHARE my medical knowledge for the benefit of the patient and the advancement of healthcare;
I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard;
I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely, and upon my honour.
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