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Hippocrates' Oath and Asclepius' Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession

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2019.04.32 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews T.A. Cavanaugh, Hippocrates' Oath and Asclepius' Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession, Oxford University Press, 2018, 177pp., $29.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780190673673. Reviewed by Marquis Berrey, University of Iowa T.A. Cavanaugh aims to recapture the two essential therapeutic aims at the heart of medical practice with the philosophical claim that both beneficence and iatrogenic harm are central to our experience of medical practice. His book about the Hippocratic Oath discusses a set of symbols and professional documents about healing that generate the prescriptive tradition of Western medicine "to help, or not to harm" (Hippocrates, Epidemics 1.11).[1] Cavanaugh's main interest in iatrogenic harm lies with the physician killing the patient. He collects historical and contemporary materials about physicians' involvement in euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and capital punishment (elective abortion receives only a passing glance) to argue that (74) "the desire to involve physicians in... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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