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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 4(2); 1995 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1995;4(2): 123-146.
그리스 의료윤리의 이상과 실천
The Ideal and Practice of Greek Medical Ethics
Young Gon Sung
Department of History, Myong Ji University, Korea.
This dissertation is concerned not with medical theories, but with practices of Greek physicians, and I have addressed the subject of medical ethics as related to the Hippocratic tradition. And I have attempted a synthetic account of Greek physicians' actual practice and its ideals in the Hippocratic tradition. My understanding of the tradition succeeds the revelations in the first chapter of my doctorial thesis, one of them is the fact that Hippocratic tradition is amalgamation of ethical code with rational or scientific medical theory. In the first chapter of this dissertation, I have attempted a social history of Greek physicians by analyzing Hippocratic writings. The Hippocratic collections, Corpus Hippocraticum, throw light not only on the origins and early development of classical medicine, but on its place in Greek Society. In the second chapter, I aim at understanding of the medical morality in its practice by analyzing the Corpus. Particularly the Oath shall be examined. Some questions, above all, such as "Was it ever a reality or merely a 'counsel of perfection'?" can not be answered. But by the way of the examination of the deontological treatises, the characters of the ethics of Greek physicians become clear. It was the result of outward performance in the relation of inner intention. In the result Greek physicians were the first to attempt to establish a code of behaviour for the medical profession and to define the doctor's obligations to the society.
Key Words: Medical ethics, Hippocratic Tradition, Corpus Hippocraticum, Oath
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