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RareDenver's avatar

If a doctor goes on strike are they breaking the hippocratic oath?

Asked by RareDenver (13163points) January 21st, 2012 from iPhone

Changes to doctors pensions in the UK is giving rise to industrial action. Would this be against the hippocratic oath?

Come to think of it, do doctors even still take the hippocratic oath?

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8 Answers

KoleraHeliko's avatar

It’s a symbolic oath, not a legal oath.

And I think it would be acceptable to strike if you truly believed that the efficiency with which you can help people would be so significantly improved by striking, that it would violate the oath more if you didn’t strike.

Oh, and yes. It’s still taken by many.

RareDenver's avatar

I knew it wasn’t legally binding but I gathered that those that took it would feel morally bound by it.

jrpowell's avatar

I have had a few doctors work on me at Whitebird. They all work for free and donate their time.

Some of the shit they have helped me with for free:

-Poison Oak.
-Inflammation in my knee due to skateboarding.
-Scabies
-Yeast infection in my armpit and around my anus.
-Free x-rays for my dentist to extract a tooth.
-I also had cat scratch fever and they helped with that.
-Strange reaction to to toaster strudels that made me break out.

I forgot why I am typing this. Oh, doctors are free at Whitebird. So some of them must be good and want to help.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I can’t imagine that any interpretation of the oath muzzles a doctor and forbids him/her from having opinions (and expressing them) in a political way. That would be nutty – it would mean that the doctor couldn’t speak up in issues related to the profession, which (long term) might have bigger impact on more patients.

I always understood the Oath to mean that if you saw a sick or injured person lying in the street, you were duty-bound to help that person. But I didnb’t understand it to mean that you had not censor your thoughts to save some theoretically potentially injured people.

mattbrowne's avatar

In Germany they would break the law if full service for emergencies can’t be guaranteed. We do have strikes organized by doctors, but they always make sure a critical minority does not participate at any particular time. So treatments that are not urgent get delayed.

marinelife's avatar

I think that they have the right to strike.

faye's avatar

Nurses do not have the right to strike in alberta, nor our firefighters, nor our doctors.

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