Good Ethics = Good Therapy
Here are some oaths from other professions and individuals:
I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.
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.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.
What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.
If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.
Translation from the Greek by Ludwig Edelstein. From The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943.
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.
Oath that “Bears the Name of Hippocrates”
I do solemnly swear, by whatever each of us holds most sacred
That I will be loyal to the Profession of Medicine and just and generous to its members
That I will lead my life and practice my art in uprightness and honor
That into whatsoever house I will enter: it shall be for the good of the sick to the utmost of my power, my holding myself far aloof from wrong, from corruption, from the tempting of others to vice
That I will exercise my art solely for the cure of my patients, and will give no drug, perform no operation for a criminal purpose, even if solicited; far less suggest it
That whatsoever I shall see or hear of the lives of my patients which is not fitting to be spoken, I will keep inviolably secret
These things do I swear. Let each of us bow the head in sign of acquiescence
And now, if I will be true to this, my oath, may good repute ever be mine; the opposite, if I should prove myself forsworn.
As a psychotherapist:
I must first do no harm.
I will promote healing and well-being in my clients and place the client’s and public’s interests above my own at all times.
I will respect the integrity of the persons with whom I am working, and I will remain objective in my relationships with clients and will act with integrity in dealing with other professionals.
I will provide only those services for which I have had the appropriate training and experience and will keep my technical competency at the highest level in order to uphold professional standards of practice.
I will not violate the physical boundaries of the client and will always provide a safe and trusting haven for healing.
I will defend the profession against unjust criticism and defend colleagues against unjust actions.
I will seek to improve and expand my knowledge through continuing education.
I will refrain from any conduct that would reflect adversely upon the best interest of The American Psychotherapy Association and its ethical standards.
Professional School Psychology Oath
I pledge to strive throughout my career for the highest level of professionalism in the practice of school psychology. I will be an advocate for children and youth and seek creative and constructive ways to serve as many as I can while upholding the standards of best practice. I will abide by the spirit as well as the letter of the federal special education laws. However, my role extends beyond being a gatekeeper for special education. I will become actively involved as a consultant and intervention specialist to facilitate the learning, behavior, and social/emotional development of all students. I will try to deliver the highest level of professional services to teachers, parents, and administrators. I will keep current in my knowledge of the research and professional literature on the diagnosis and treatment of developmental, learning, behavioral, and mental disorders that affect school performance of children and youth. As a scientist-practitioner, in my practice I will draw upon science and a deep commitment to all human beings and respect for diversity. I pledge to uphold the ethical standards of the National Association of School Psychologists and the American Psychological Association.
Note: This oath is taken by graduate students in the School Psychology program at the University of Washington prior to graduation.
Declaration of Geneva of the World Medical Association
(adopted 1948, amended 1966 and 1983):
I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
Sun Simiao Oath
A Great Physician should not pay attention to status, wealth or age; neither should he question whether the particular person is attractive or unattractive, whether he is an enemy or friend, whether he is a Chinese or a foreigner, or finally, whether he is uneducated or educated. He should meet everyone on equal grounds. He should always act as if he were thinking of his close relatives.
( 581–682) was a famous
traditional Chinese medicine doctor of the Sui and Tang dynasty. He was
titled as China's King of Medicine for his significant
contributions to Chinese medicine and tremendous care to his patients.
The Nightingale Pledge was composed by a committee chaired by Lystra Gretter, an instructor of nursing at the old Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and was first used by its graduating class in the spring of 1893:
* I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly,
to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
Oath of Maimonides
The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all time; may neither avarice nor miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies of truth and philanthropy could easily deceive me and make me forgetful of my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children.
May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain.
Grant me the strength, time and opportunity always to correct what I have acquired, always to extend its domain; for knowledge is immense and the spirit of man can extend indefinitely to enrich itself daily with new requirements.
Today he can discover his errors of yesterday and tomorrow he can obtain a new light on what he thinks himself sure of today. Oh, God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures; here am I ready for my vocation and now I turn unto my calling.
Oath of Maimonides: A prayer that is said to have been written by the 12th-century physician-philosopher Moses Maimonides. Like the famous oath of Hippocrates, the prayer of Maimonides is often recited by new medical graduates.
The Seventeen Rules of Enjuin are a code of conduct developed for students of the Japanese Ri-shu school of medicine in the 16th century CE. The rules are similar to the Hippocratic Oath in that they stress that physicians should not tell people outside the school of what they have learnt. They also emphasized that physicians should love their patients and that they should work together as a brotherhood.
The 17 rules are:
1. Each person should follow the path designated by Heaven (Buddha,
I shall also share my medical knowledge with those who may benefit from what I have learned. I will serve unselfishly and continuously in order to help make a better world for all mankind.
While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted to
me to enjoy life, and the practice of the art, respected by all men,
in all times. Should I trespass or violate this oath, may the reverse
be my lot.
Written by: Charles B. Gillespie, M.D.
The Teacher’s Oath
I swear to
fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
• I will apply, for the benefit of my students, all strategies known to be effective, avoiding busy-work in favor of work with real meaning to the students and their families.
• I will remember that there is art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the textbook reading or the multiple choice test.
• I will work with my colleagues to inspire one another to achieve excellence. I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed to help my students.
• If it is given me to enhance a life through teaching, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to cast a shadow over a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.
• I will remember that I do not teach a lesson plan, or a reading deficiency, but a human being, whose skills may affect the person’s future family and economic stability. My efforts will aim to teach the whole child, and help that child develop in mind and spirit.
I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while
I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so
as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience
the joy of teaching those who seek my help.
Oath of a Physical Therapist
In the presence of my colleagues, friends, families and teachers and in view of the honored profession I am entering into, I solemnly and willingly state that I dedicate myself to the following:
I will practice physical therapy with compassion for the vulnerabilities
in each of my patients and will work to preserve their dignity and promote
their health and welfare. I will value the lives of my patients as I
value my own life, through my concern for their significance and with
respect for them and the confidential nature of our relationship.
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.
I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.
Frequently Asked Questions
© 2000 - 2010 www.psychceu.com all rights reserved.