Hippocrates

Hippocrates, the central historical figure in Greek medicine, was born in Kos between 470-460 B.C. He was born of an ancestor of Aselepios, the son of Apollo, named Heraklides. He greatened his education by traveling. He traveled often and widely before he settled in Kos to practice and teach medicine. Hippocrates taught in Athens and worked on squaring the circle and also worked on duplicating the cube. He grew far in these areas and although his work is not lost, it must have contained much of what Euclid later included in Books One and Two of the Elements. He believed that experience and mind with speech are the criteria of the knowledge. And according to Hippocrates, the diseases are not due to the “wrath of God”, but to natural causes which bring disturbances in the function of the organism. He was set against any idea of sacerdotalism, the belief that priests can act as mediators between God and human beings, and also opposed the spirit of trade-unionism in medicine. He was concerned with the physician’s duties, not the “rights”. This brought on the greatest legacy of Hippocrates: the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic Oath was the example for medical etiquette for centuries and endures in modified form today. There is some uncertainty about when it was composed, the purposed for which it was intended, and the historical forces which shaped the document. It is said to have been written in the fifth century B.C. It’s principles have slightly changed, if at all, regardless of the place and time, social systems, or religious beliefs. It is the basis for graduates of medical schools and the health professions all over the world. Translated, the Hippocratic Oath is against suicide and abortion, which were in consonance with the principles of the Christian Church. Suicide was not proscribed by ancient religions, mostly because they did not know of any eternal punishment for those who had ended their own lives. I…

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