The AMA has adopted the World Medical Association’s (WMA) Declaration of Geneva as a contemporary companion to the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath for doctors to declare their commitment to their profession, their patients, and humanity.
The AMA Executive Council has formally embraced the Declaration as AMA policy, with the new voluntary vow setting ‘guiding principles around becoming a medical practitioner’.
AMA President Dr Mukesh Haikerwal said today he is confident that Australian doctors would welcome the Declaration at a time when there are great challenges to the integrity and independence of the medical profession.
“The Declaration is a short, sharp summary of all that is good about being a doctor in the 21st Century,” Dr Haikerwal said.
“It reinforces the independence of the medical profession and it spells out clearly our duty and dedication to our patients and our respect for all human life.
“While the Hippocratic Oath sets out the historical and philosophical roles of the medical profession, the WMA’s Declaration of Geneva encapsulates the basic noble principles and values of being a doctor.
“Together, they are a comprehensive affirmation of the value of our profession, and they complement the guidance on ethical standards and professionalism provided by the AMA’s Code of Ethics.”
Declaration of Geneva (WMA, 2006)
At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:
I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
I will practise my profession with conscience and dignity;
The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
I will maintain, by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
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 maintain the utmost respect for human life;
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.
The Declaration of Geneva is one of the World Medical Association’s (WMA) oldest policies adopted by the 2nd General Assembly in Geneva in 1947. It builds on the principles of the Hippocratic Oath, and is now known as its modern version.
It also remains one of the most consistent documents of the WMA. With only very few and careful revisions over many decades, it safeguards the ethical principles of the medical profession, relatively uninfluenced by zeitgeist and modernism.
The Oath should not be read alone, but in parallel with the more specific and detailed policies of the WMA especially the International Code of Medical Ethics, which followed the Declaration of Geneva as early as 1948.
*Previous archived versions below are for research purpose only.
- Declaration of Geneva – version 1948
- Declaration of Geneva – version 1968
- Declaration of Geneva – version 1983
- Declaration of Geneva – version 1994
- Declaration of Geneva – version 2005
- Declaration of Geneva – version 2006
UPDATED. World Medical Association Declaration of Geneva 2017
The Physician’s Pledge
Adopted by the 2nd General Assembly of the World Medical Association, Geneva, Switzerland, September 1948
and amended by the 22nd World Medical Assembly, Sydney, Australia, August 1968
and the 35th World Medical Assembly, Venice, Italy, October 1983
and the 46th WMA General Assembly, Stockholm, Sweden, September 1994
and editorially revised by the 170th WMA Council Session, Divonne-les-Bains, France, May 2005
and the 173rd WMA Council Session, Divonne-les-Bains, France, May 2006
and the WMA General Assembly, Chicago, United States, October 2017
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.
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