Geneva Version of the Hippocratic Oath
…in totalitarian countries, the physician is often compelled to act as the patient’s adversary; whereas in free countries, he need almost never do so.
The crime of the Nazi physicians was an offense only from the point of view of nontotalitarian medical ethic. It was to reaffirm the primacy of the patient-physician relationship over the state-physician relationship that the Geneva version of the Hippocratic Oath was formulated shortly after the Nuremberg trials. This oath, adopted by the World Medical Organization, explicitly commands the physician to honor the following principles:
The health and life of my patient will be my first consideration. I will hold in confidence all that my patient confides in me…I will not permit considerations of race, religion, nationality, party, politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient…Even under threat I will not use my knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity. These promises I make freely and upon my honor.
The Manufacture of Mental Illness. Thomas S. Szasz. Pg. 219. Delta, 1970.