Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil
versión impresa ISSN 1519-3829
BEIER, Mônica y IANNOTTI, Giovano de Castro. Paternalism and the hippocratic oath. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2010, vol.10, suppl.2, pp. s383-s389. ISSN 1519-3829. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-38292010000600017.
It is said and commonly accepted that the tradition of paternalism in medicine goes back to the Hippocratic oath. This paternalism is held to be one of the manifestations of an asymmetrical relation between doctor and patient. Some of Hippocrates's writings reveal the respect of the doctor for the patient and include dialogue and patient education as necessary elements for the development of this relationship and the balancing of beneficence and independence. This is rooted in the pre-Socratic idea of nature (physis) as the representation of the divinity in the regulation of all the movements of the universe. The oath is a promise to forgo any kind of injustice and to administer life in accordance with the physician's good judgment. It can be concluded that the medical care of the sick was conceived in the context of the incapacity of the sick person to attain self-knowledge and the impossibility of the patient enlightening him or herself without the assistance of the physician and that this helped to perfect the ignorant and random movements of nature (physis), sanitizing it with sufficient reason (logismos). The paternalismo f nature (physis) was moderated and this is reflected in the medical art of Hippocrates.
Palabras llave : Paternalism; Beneficence; Hippocratic oath.