I swear by Apollo, Aesculapius the Physician, Hygieia and Panacea
with all the gods and goddesses as my witnesses, that, according to my hughest
ability and best judgement, I will keep this contractual Oath:
him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents, to be a partner in
life with him, and to serve him as son serves father;
to look upon his
offspring as equals to my own siblings, and to teach them this art, if they
shall wish to learn it, without fee;
that by every mode of instruction
I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons and to students having
sworn this Oath to the law of medicine.
I will use dietary regimens
which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgement,
and I will do no harm or injustice to them.
I will not give a lethal
drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I
will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
and according to divine law will I carry out my life and my art.
not use the knife, even upon those suffering from stones.
I practice my
art for the benefit of the sick, avoiding any voluntary act of impropriety or
corruption, including the seduction of women or men.
Whatever I see or
hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my practice or not
I will keep secret considering them as private.
As I maintain this Oath
faithfully practicing of my art may it be granted to me to partake of life
fully by gaining the respect of all men for all time.
transgress this Oath and violate it, may the opposite be my fate.
~ The Healing of the Celts ~ Unlike the Greek and Roman ways of dealing
with the sick or feeble (usually killing the person because such illnesses were
said to caused by Demons), Irish Law stipulated that the best possible care was
to be provided to the sick, injured, feeble or elderly. Physicians were held
accountable for their actions. One triad from Bretha Nemed toisech states that
physicians must provide "a painless examination, a complete cure and no
blemish". No scarring, no pain and a complete cure? Pretty hefty standards that
most doctors today would be in trouble for! Naturally, this is impossible, but
this triad was one that Irish physicians strove for (but was not necessarily
the law). The Greeks strove to "do no harm"
the Irish went all the way to
"leave no scar"! A physician who caused a patient's illness or injury to get
worse through negligence or lack of skill was held accountable by laws very
similar to our own malpractice laws. A negligent or unskilled physician who
caused harm would be required to pay hefty fines based on the nature of the
damage. Soap was invented by the Celts and hand washing/cleanliness were a must in
Celtic hospitals and healing places. Something we would not see again until the
19th and 20th century. Sabbaticals were allowed and each locality was required
to make allowances for the local physician to take time off to learn new skills
without the bother of having to deal with patients during that time. They
wanted their physicians to be adequately trained in the most ideal of
conditions, it would seem. This is not unlike a specialist today who takes a
year sabbatical to upgrade his/her skills. Physicians also had to take up to
four students, who would follow the senior physician around and learn on the
job, much like the gaggle of residents one can often see accompanying senior
physicians at teaching hospitals today. The students gained the on the job
wisdom, while the physician and the patients had the security of having four
other people scrutinizing his or her work to ensure harm was not being done.
Healing baths and spas were also said to have been used by Celtic physicians.
Steam baths or sweat houses were used to help with diseases such as Rheumatism
and arthritis. There are also tales told of Druids using sweathouses to receive
visions. Most likely, these were mostly used for treating rheumatoid disorders.
Dian Cecht was considered the Physician of the Tuatha De Dannann . Dian Cecht
taught there were 13 doors to the soul in the human body. From a spiritual
standpoint, these could be seen as areas that could give a spiritual healer
access to damaged or injured parts of the soul. They could also be exit points
for the soul at the time of death
or even entry points at the tim
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