The physicians’ oath ‘Do no harm’ is attributed to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, but it isn’t a part of the Hippocratic Oath. It is actually from another of his works Of the Epidemics.
Hippocrates’ Of the Epidemics says: The physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future — have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.
In this work, Hippocrates acts as a prognosticator, raising concerns about not just one malady and one patient, but encompassing the past, present and future of many patients and the maladies they might face.
Following this rationale, this book, When Doctors Finally Said No, came to be. Although fiction, these true, medically related stories weave together a movement that is building barriers between doctors and their patients by using criteria based on outcomes instead of efforts.
The oath, once the bedrock of this still unpredictable science has now become its Achilles heel. Many of those in the federal government, the insurers, the hospital corporations and the bottom-feeders from the legal community feel they can legislate, regulate, administrate and litigate without real concern what harm might come from their actions, because doctors pledged to do no harm.
Hippocrates’ pronouncements laid out an additional duty for doctors beside do no harm and that is doing nothing.
When Doctors Finally Said No is the gripping story of the intrusions into the practice of medicine by the payers, the government, and the large hospital corporations that force physicians into a battle they never anticipated.