I solemnly pledge to concentrate my life to the service of humanity, I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which are their due; I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; the health of my patient will be my first conditions. I will respect the secrets which are confided in me, even after the patient has died; I will maintain by all means in my powers the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession. My colleagues will be my brothers and sisters; I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party, politics, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient; I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from time of conceptions even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to any laws of humanity. Typically, whilst law is practised in the open court with members of the public and sometimes, the press, in close watch, medicine or the medical profession is practiced behind the fortress of Jericho-walls. Consequently whilst it is easy to identify a lazy, reckless and negligent member of the legal profession, it is not easy to do the same relative to a medical practitioner. The reason is, of course, obvious. The legal practitioner performs his legal functions before a sea of critical public eyes, carefully watching from the grand-stand, but the medical practitioner is locked up with his or her patient behind the iron-curtain of the theatre and the examination table.
Authors: Ochem Charles Emeka