I chose these titles because my novels are fictional stories based on experiences, which I’ve encountered in nearly half a century of medical care, surgery, and healthcare administration.
As readers follow the challenges impacting my fictional heroine, Dr, Susan Whitney, they discover that each villain seeks to harm her based on their goal of placing financial profit above the sacred oath that has governed medical care for over two thousand years.
Why do they do that, both in real life and in my novels? Is it because they believe the oath doesn’t pertain to them? Or is it a bending of the oath to justify their greedy actions?
What is this oath? What are its rules? The rules are contained in what is commonly known as the Hippocratic Oath. Since its inception, the oath was considered only binding to physicians. However, with the evolving complexity of medical care, I believe, it pertains to all healthcare providers, including health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.
So then, we might ask:
Why Is the Hippocratic Oath Still Important?
Although some aspects of the Hippocratic Oath are not directly applicable to modern practice, such as swearing by the Greek gods who were believed to oversee medicine, much of the oath is still important for nurses and many other skilled providers in the medical care team. The overarching premise of the Hippocratic Oath, and its modern versions, is the mandate that the individual reciting the pledge is making a personal dedication to ethical care.
There are two branches to this promise:
First –The purpose of medical care is to benefit the ill.
Second — A patient’s needs should be considered above all else – including the need for privacy.
Though some believe that the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath is symbolic, modern day practitioners adhere to its tenets daily when following the rules of HIPAA.
Another key theme that the Hippocratic Oath and the modern versions share is the idea that medical professionals should promote health knowledge and skills between one another and between the care team and patients. This aspect of the oath is significant because in the centuries since the oath was first written, medicine has become a complex and diversified science.
In Hippocrates’ time, a distinction was made between doctors as general practitioners and surgeons, who were most typically barbers, not medically trained professionals. Today there are primary, general-practice care teams, as well as, secondary-care teams in various specialties and treatment modalities.
This has increased the need for nurses, doctors, and ancillary teams to communicate regularly on all aspects of patient care.
Today, the oath is seen as an ideal for the practice of all aspects of healthcare. Unfortunately, there is a chasm between providers of healthcare at the point of service, and providers of healthcare products. Examples of the latter are insurance coverage, pharmaceutical products, and medical supplies, as well as, online businesses touting alternate forms of medical therapy unsupported by valid medical research.
It’s for these reasons, my novels seek to entertain, but also to convey information, perhaps unknown to the typical patient in need of medical care during a personal health crisis.
I hope that readers of my blog feel free to leave a comment. In this manner, we can begin a conversation critical to all of us.