Julie Ponesse, PhD
Director of Medical Ethics
Julie Ponesse, PhD
Richard Amerling, MD
Chief Academic Officer
Statement on Medical Ethics
By Richard Amerling, MD, Chief Academic Officer and Julie Ponesse, Director of Medical Ethics
Medical Ethics has been either abandoned wholesale or highly manipulated over the last 40+ years.
Reaffirmation of Medical Ethics is an absolute precondition to the restoration of the medical profession. The Oath of Hippocrates remains the gold standard expression of medical ethics. It is a solemn pronouncement by which a physician acknowledges and pledges oneself to the priority of patient well-being, and to confidentiality, precaution, beneficence and non-maleficence over coercion, compliance and self-interest. Medical Ethics undergirds the Standard of Care.
Sadly, “standard of care” has morphed into “standardized care,” which is inherently unethical. In the face of the quality-of-care crisis, the third-party payer system, and declining trust in the medical establishment, reasserting the Oath is now more critical than ever.
(Translated by Amelia Arenas) —for Gary Lefer
I swear before my gods, my ancestors, my teachers, my fellow healers and apprentices, and by all the arts and knowledge I was privileged to learn, that I will stand by these words: I will love those who taught me these arts as I love my parents and I will offer my skills to the young with the same generosity that they were given to me. And I will never ask them for gold, but demand that they stand by this covenant in return. I also swear that if I earn fame and wealth, I will share it with my masters and my students. I will soothe the pain of anyone who needs my art, and if I don’t know how, I will seek the counsel of my teachers. I will offer those who suffer all my attention, my science and my love. Never will I betray them or risk their wellbeing to satisfy my vanity. I will not hurt my fellow or put a knife to his flesh if I don’t know how, or give him an herb to soothe his pain, even if he begs for it in anguish, if it might take away his breath.