Hippocratic Oath Under Review By HMO Board

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Hippocratic Oath Under Review By HMO Board

ATLANTA—The Oath of Hippocrates, a cornerstone of medical ethics for more than 2,000 years, is under review by the board of directors of MedCare, Georgia's leading HMO, it was announced Monday. "It looks good on paper, but frankly, some of the phrases struck us as a bit extreme," said board chair Dr. Forrest Gabler. "For example, 'The health of my patient will be my first consideration.' While it's fine as a concept, when put into actual practice, it creates massive budgetary and liability problems." Another phrase from the oath under review is, "I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity." "That goes without saying, so we'd just as soon not have it in there," Gabler said. Scheduled next for review are the Merck Manual and the Bill of Rights.