Hippokrates — Medizin in der Verantwortung

This article outlines the main principles on which Hippocrates (ca 460–380 BC) built his medical practice, since it is with him that medicine underwent a sea change from medicine treating mainly wounds (that is, external injuries) to medicine attending to a human being as a whole, medicine that could listen and form a relationship based on trust, observe the symptoms of an internal disorder, and form predictions for which it bore responsibility. Ethical principles drafted by Hippocrates rest on the assumption that all diseases have natural causes, since a human being is at one with the universe and abides by the same laws. It is with the doctor to uncover the causes, and these are only to be obtained through trust and unbiased attitude towards the patient to which multiple descriptions of successful treatment of women and slaves bear sufficient witness. Advances made in hippocratean gynaecology are striking, taking into account the absence of any diagnostic means except for palpation, to say nothing of the despicable attitudes to a woman having to reveal her condition to a doctor, which very often led to deaths through negligence. Thus, in the times when medicine is more than ever a for-profit enterprise or else deemed to be a trade one can enter without any formal training, the author wants us to recall Hippocrates and the point he made of responsibility of one human being to another.

 Hellmut Flashar. Hippokrates — Medizin in der Verantwortung