BMA Withdraws Text Of New Hippocratic Oath

The BMA has withdrawn the text of its proposed redrafting of the Declaration of Geneva – the modern restatement of the Hippocratic Oath – and has agreed to identify any major points required to update the Declaration.

At the annual General Assembly of the World Medical Association in Hamburg, Germany, representatives from national medical associations reaffirmed the importance of a simple oath setting out the core values of physicians. They accepted that the Declaration of Geneva was commonly used in many different languages and that a complete revision could undermine the commitment of medical schools and faculties to the Oath.

However, it was agreed that the Declaration of Geneva should continue to evolve as it had done since 1948.

Dr James Appleyard, chairman of the WMA’s medical ethics committee supported the continuation of a statement of fundamental ethical principles that could be affirmed at graduation by doctors worldwide.

Dr Sandy Macara, chairman of the BMA Council, said: “The BMA’s work has been rewarded with great interest and we have now agreed to study all the many responses we have had so that we can identify any major points required to update the Declaration.”