Peachy the Magazine June July 2014 - Page 122

In Search of Hippocrates profound and ahead of his time. His teachings are well documented in the Hippocratic Corpus. The more than 70 texts found in this work are amazing. Here are a few of them that may serve as a foundation for what is truly important in healthcare. “First Do No Harm” (Primum non nocerum) The Hippocratic Oath is the very statement new physicians take when they are given their medical degree. The oath was designed to ensure that new physicians were serious about their profession through their professionalism and moral standards. Hippocrates believed that doctors should be held to a higher standard, both ethically and professionally. They were encour aged to use their medical knowledge only to save a life and were expected to use their expertise to limit unnecessary procedures and treatments. They were encouraged to treat a patient as a whole, taking into account all aspects of his life. Clearly in today’s medical environment focus has moved to procedures, medications and testing. Many of these medical modalities are associated with risks and complications and are adding to the nation’s 120 PEACHYTHEMAGAZINE.COM growing health care tab. The tests and procedures can be harmful as well. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country. It is up to physicians to be ethical in their recommendations and not be influenced by monetary rewards. They must educate patients that more medicine is not necessarily better medicine. A United States group working with 25 medical specialties has released its recommendations in the Choosing Wisely Campaign. This campaign, launched in 2012, is aimed at helping doctors and patients navigate through more than 130 tests and procedures. “As to diseases, make a habit of two things—to help or at least to do no harm.” “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asks for it nor will I make a suggestion to this effect…” Hippocrates believed that doctors should not be content to simply focus on the treatment of disease. He believed they should treat the patient as a whole and concentrate on causes and prevention of disease. He rarely