Historic change to Declaration of Geneva

At the recent World Medical Association (WMA) conference the oath sworn by doctors was updated to reflect the importance of doctors attending to their own health. AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, was in attendance at this historic change. 

The doctors’ oath is officially titled the Declaration of Geneva – the modern successor to the Hippocratic Oath – and is used by physicians around the world. The revised oath, now referred to as a pledge, offers a refocus to ensure that doctors are attentive to their personal health. 

More than 50 national medical associations were present at the General Assembly of the WMA in Chicago to amend the oath to include the words: 

“I WILL ATTEND to my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard.” 

Additional changes were also approved, including a refocusing to reflect changes over time in the nature of the relationships between treating doctors and their patients. The new pledge refers to the autonomy of the patient. Previously, the oath referred to respect only for teachers, not from teachers to their colleagues and students and the updated pledge amends this. It is currently in the two-year revision process, which includes a period for public consultation. 

Dr Yoshitake Yokokura, President of the Japan Medical Association, was installed as President for 2017/18, and Dr Leonid Eidelman, President of the Israel Medical Association, was elected President elect. 

The Declaration of Geneva

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