- Not much is known about the life of Hippocrates (c. 460-c. 375 B.C.), who was given the appellation the "father of medicine." He is believed to have been born on the island of Cos and to have been a member of a famous family of priest-physicians, the Asclepiadae. He was known to be an acute and indefatigable observer. He practiced as both physician and surgeon and is credited with having separated medicine from superstition. His writings, or perhaps the treatises of his followers, known as the Hippocratic Collection, are still read.Although modern science has determined that their interpretation of natural causes for disease was erroneous, Hippocrates's refutation of traditional beliefs that the gods were behind all human ills was a major step forward.The llippocratic oath is still administered in many schools of medicine, but some portions of it are no longer sworn to. It represents the rules that ought to govern medical ethics. The Hippocratic oath, in abridged form, is as follows:You do solemnly swear, each man by whatever he'holds most sacred, that you will be loyal to the profession of medicine and just and generous to its memb.ers; that you will lead your lives and practice your art in uprightness and honor, that into whatsoever house you shall enter, it shall be for the good of the sick to the utmost of your power, you holding yourselves far aloof from wrong, from corruption, from the tempting of others to vice; that you will exercise your art solely for the cure of your patients and will give no drug, perform no operation, for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggest it; that whatsoever you shall see or hear of the lives of men which is not fitting to be spoken, you will keep inviolably secret. These things you do swear. Let each man bow the head in sign of acquiescence. And now, if you will be true to this, your oath, may prosperity and good repute be ever yours; the opposite if you shall prove yourself forsworn.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.