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Declaration of Geneva

The Declaration of Geneva is an oath for physicians that was first adopted by the World Medical Association in 1948. It can be viewed as a response to the participation of physicians in crimes against humanity in Nazi Germany.

The oath requires, for example, that physicians do not use their knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity. It is worth noting that the Oath was adopted by the World Medical Association only a few months before the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Below is the full text of the Declaration of Geneva. The Norwegian translation is by Knut Ruyter, Reidun Førde and Jan Helge Solbakk (2007), and can be found in: Medisinsk etikk: En problembasert tilnærming (p. 244). See the Norwegian pages for a Norwegian translation.

English text of the Declaration of Geneva

(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.

This article has been translated from Norwegian by Cristina Pulido Ulvang, Akasie språktjenester AS.



Ruyter, Knut; Jan Helge Solbakk; Reidun Førde (2007): Medisinsk og helsefaglig etikk. Gyldendal Akademisk