Described as ‘the contemporary successor to the 2500-year-old Hippocratic Oath‘, the World Medical Association (WMA)’s Physician’s Pledge provides guidance for the global medical community.
I think all healthcare providers would do well to read this from time to time, and ask themselves where in their work they or their colleagues might be deviating from these principles, and what they could or should be doing to more closely adhere to them.
AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION:
I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to dedicate my life to the service of humanity;
THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;
I WILL RESPECT the autonomy and dignity of my patient;
I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;
I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing, or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity and in accordance with good medical practice;
I WILL FOSTER the honour and noble traditions of the medical profession;
I WILL GIVE to my teachers, colleagues, and students the respect and gratitude that is their due;
I WILL SHARE my medical knowledge for the benefit of the patient and the advancement of healthcare;
I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard;
I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely, and upon my honour.
Have you deviated from any of the above?
Can you resolve not to in future?
What help do you need from your employer or your colleagues to allow you to adhere to them?
Can you think of colleagues who might benefit from being shown this pledge?
Please reflect on this line:
I will attend to my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard
It is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to prioritise these so you can be maximally effective for your patients.
If there are changes you need to make in this area, make them.