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Hippocrates didn’t write the oath, so why is he the father of medicine?
30.05.2021 Helen King
Medicine
Hippocrates

Hippocrates is considered the father of medicine, enemy of superstition, pioneer of rationality and fount of eternal wisdom. Statues and drawings show him with a furrowed brow, thinking hard about how to heal his patients.

And today, the internet is full of claims that if you follow a supposedly Hippocratic diet of raw organic foods or concentrate on one of his alleged favourite foods, such as watercress, you will be healed.

The most famous of the treatises linked to his name over time is the Hippocratic Oath, which has sometimes been taken by medics as they vow to uphold ethical standards in their profession. And what a model it offers: in the Oath doctors are to keep away from abortion and euthanasia. They must not blurt out their patients’ secrets. Nor should they have sex with patients – men or women, free or slave.

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