DECLARATION OF GENEVA
World Medical Association
Adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association at Geneva in 1948 and amended by the 22d World Medical Assembly at Sydney in 1968, the Declaration of Geneva was one of the first and most important actions of the Association. It is a declaration of physicians' dedication to the humanitarian goals of medicine, a declaration that was especially important in view of the medical crimes which had just been committed in Nazi Germany. The Declaration of Geneva was intended to update the Oath of Hippocrates, which was no longer suited to modern conditions. Of interest is the fact that the World Medical Association considered this short Declaration to be a more significant statement of medical ethics than the succeeding International Code of Medical Ethics. The words in italics where added to the Declaration in 1968.
At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:
I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;
I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
I will respect the secrets which are confided in me, even after the patient has died
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my brothers;
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 the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.
[World Medical Journal 3 (1956), Supplement, pp. 10-12. Reprinted with the permission of the World Medical Journal.]