Primum Non Nocere, (First, Do No Harm). Part II of III.
Hopefully you have read part one of this blog, “First, do no harm”. It should have made you aware how entrenched this idea is in our human psyche. It is so innate and so powerful that it is cross cultural and has been used by the practitioners of the healing arts and sciences, past and present. You have seen this idea had its roots long before the Greeks and Hippocrates and it was important enough to not only be written down, but inscribed in stone. Much was centered around the diety of those ages or the queen, king or pharoah. And sometimes these earthly monarchs were considered both man and god despite their mortal shortcomings. Much was expected out of these ancient medical practitioners even though their true abilities would be considered quite limited by today’s standards.
There were severe repercussions in ancient times for messing up too. In ancient times the gods were supposed to have the final say in matters of health, life and death. In actuality those in power did. The practioners experienced the wrath of their queens, kings, pharoahs if their loved ones became more critically ill or died at the hands of these practitioners. The punishment could be as minor as imprisonment and a beating, to as severe as losing a bodily part or one’s life.
I will touch upon Sun Simiao, Asaph and Maimondes in this blog.
– The code of HAMMURABI 1792–1750 BCE;
– VAIDYA’S oath, somewhere in the 1600s BCE;
– HIPPOCRATIC Oath, somewhere around 4 BCE;
• SUN SIMIAO OATH (581–682 CE), also known as the “Chinese Hippocrates”;
• ASAPH OATH – somewhere around 600 CE;
• THE OATH OF MAIMONIDES – somewhere around the 1500s CE;
• The 17 rules of ENJUIN – somewhere around the 1500s CE, Japan;
• HIPPOCRATIC Oath, CONTEMPORARY 1964 & 1997
• AMA Code of Medical Ethics, 1847 American Medical Association code of ethics;
• American Board Of Internal Medicine.
SUN SIMIAO OATH (581–682 CE)*
What Hippocrates is to the west Sun Simiao of China would be considered to the east. Simiao was also renown for the great care that he gave those he treated. Like Hippocrates, Simiao emphasized ethical and avoiding inappropriate behavior for physicians through his own practices and his writings. He wrote two books and a treatise that were just plain amazing for the time due to the scope and detail of information that accurately assisted patient and physician alike.
The two books were named “Beiji Qianjin Yaofang” (Prescriptions for Emergencies Worth a Thousand Gold ) and “Qianjin Yifang” which can be considered an addendum to the first. Plus he wrote the treatise “The Absolute Sincerity of Great Physicians”. The quote below gives you some idea of Simiao’s outlook and approach to his profession and what he expected of others.
‘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.’
Over in another part of the globe we find Asaph Judaeus. 55 rules or codes are attributed to this Jewish physician. . His work like Hippocrates is attributed to him though there are reservations in the academic world as to who actually did the writing. Asaph’s works are considered the oldest written Hebrew writings explaining physicians code of ethics.
Moving forward in time, a little over 1000 years from about 550 CE to about 1500 CE we come across another influential man of medicine, Moses Maimonides/Mūsā ibn Maymūn of Cordoba (Spain)
“Grant that my patients have confidence in me and my art and follow my directions and my counsel.
• Remove from their midst all charlatans and the whole host of vicious relatives and know-all nurses, cruel people who arrogantly frustrate the wisest purposes of our art and often lead Thy creatures to their death.
• Should those who are wiser than I wish to improve and instruct me, let my soul gratefully follow their guidance; for vast is the extent of our art. Should conceited fools, however, censure me, then let love for my profession steel me against them, so that I remain steadfast without regard for age, for reputation, or for honor, because surrender would bring to Thy creatures sickness and death.
• Imbue my soul with gentleness and calmness when older colleagues, proud of their age, wish to displace me or to scorn me or disdainfully to teach me. May even this be of advantage to me, for they know many things of which I am ignorant, but let not their arrogance give me pain. For they are old and old age is not master of the passions. I also hope to attain old age upon this earth, before Thee, Almighty God!
• Let me be contented in everything except in the great science of my profession. Never allow the thought to arise in me that I have attained to sufficient knowledge, but vouchsafe to me the strength, the leisure and the ambition ever to extend my knowledge. For art is great, but the mind of man is ever expanding.
• Almighty God! Thou hast chosen me in Thy mercy to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures. I now apply myself to my profession. Support me in this great task so that it may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed.”
I hope that you have found this very brief discussion at least enlightening if not exciting. It definitely shows how the medical profession has progressed and is progressing. We are discovering that our ancestors were more correct than even they may have realized or even we realized. Our communities are beginning to move towards approaches that are assisting our bodies to help itself without the fear of side-effects. This is only the beginning of this resurgence, but we are finally moving in the right direction. Our ability to compile centuries of medical knowledge is finally moving us back in a sense, towards more holistic and homeopathic approaches. We are now combining this with the best modern science has to offer.
Cieaura (See-ah-ra) is at the forefront of this movement combining old and new. It has taken the ancient technology of acupuncture (Qi and meridians) and the modern technology of a hologram to create a whole new product that acts on the proven and effective principles of acupuncture. And, we are doing it successfully to the tune of 50 + countries within 3 years! Primum non nocere.
You have questions? We have answers at: http://chipmeglennc.cieaura.com/faq_main.html
Here’s To Your Health, Chipsterhealth
March 08, 2013
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** The Annals of Internal Medicine.
The Oath of Asaph FRED ROSNER, M.D.; and SUSSMAN MUNTNER, M.D.
*** Hippocratic Registry