World Medical Association proposes changes to modified Hippocratic Oath.


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The World Medical Association (WMA) is proposing a number of changes to the Declaration of Geneva, the modified form of the Hippocratic Oath. Proposed amendments relate to physician wellbeing, reciprocal respect between teachers and students of medicine and the obligation to share medical knowledge for the benefit of the patient and the advancement of healthcare. The association also wants to add the subtitle of the 'Physicians Oath' to the text to improve its discoverability.

First adopted in 1948, the Declaration was conceived as a modern Hippocratic Oath to be sworn by doctors on admission to the profession. A review of the document by the WMA found significant variance among countries in how the Declaration is disseminated and used as an oath by those entering the medical profession. It also found its use is limited as an oath text, but often incorporated into professional codes of conduct instead.

The WMA launched a public consultation on the proposed amendments to the declaration this week and is urging members of national medical associations to comment on the proposed changes before May 29. These will inform a final revised draft to be considered by the WMA’s Ethics Committee and Council at their meetings in Chicago, USA, in October 2017.