Today I took my mom for a medical appointment at a local hospital. In the waiting room was a huge (like a story and a half) artistic rendition of the Hippocratic Oath. I realized I had never read it before, so I took a few moments to do so. The Hippocratic Oath supposedly originated from Hippocrates, an ancient Greek who lived about 400 BC, and is considered to be the "father of modern medicine". I was fairly shocked to see that it included references to abortion and what we now call euthanasia, and several other issues that had to do with ethical situations.
A 12th century Byzantine manuscript of the oath, rendered in the form of a cross
I have always assumed that taking the Hippocratic Oath was something required of all new doctors as they were ready to embark on their practices. After I had a chance to do just a little research, I found there is the original Oath, which in the past was taken routinely by new physicians, and a "modern" version, adapted sometime in the 1970's. However apparently neither the ancient version nor the modern version is used anymore at medical schools! Most of them now have some ethical statement or pledge that is recited at graduation ceremonies, but there is no universal standard or code of ethics for the profession upon which to take an oath due to changing societal mores and the variety of accepted medical practices.
The American Medical Association has a published oath that it has "approved". This version has totally removed the references to things like never prescribing or administrating a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked; also deleted is the statement referring to performing duties with utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and rejecting abortion that deliberately takes