ISSN 2415-3060 (print), ISSN 2522-4972 (online)
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JMBS 2019, 4(2): 236–241
https://doi.org/10.26693/jmbs04.02.236
Humanitarian issues of medicine and problem of teaching at the higher school

Historical Background of Origin and Development of Medical Deontology in the Antique Period

Verbovska R. I.
Abstract

Nowadays, the socioeconomic situation in Ukraine and the innovative processes that take place in the field of medicine put forward serious requirements for the training of future healthcare workers. Only a qualified physician, who represents a model of high moral personality and has an advanced scientific outlook, can successfully accomplish difficult tasks, set by the modern medical reforms. Studying the essence of moral and ethical training of future doctors in medical institutions of higher education, it is impossible to accomplish this goal without studying its origins. The works of prominent physicians and philosophers from the Ancient East, Greece and Rome serve a rich source for contemporary research of the issue of medical deontology. The core of the qualified training of a modern physician is not only the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills, but also formation a high deontological potential in this person. In the White Book of National Education of Ukraine, special attention is paid to the "harmonious combination of humanitarian training with the professional formation of a future specialist, appeals to world culture, history, spiritual values, which all academic disciplines should penetrate. The basis of education is ideas of goodness, humanity, peace, mercy". The fact that today deontology is organically interwoven with the professional activity of lawyers, educators, journalists, psychologists and representatives of many other professions testifies to its undeniable significance. Scientists (M. Dumka, V. Movchan, A. Feduschak, R. Chaikovsky, A. Chumak, etc.) called the medical deontology its primary historical source. The problem of moral and ethical behaviour of the doctor was studied by scientists at all stages of historical development. According to the accurate statement of the scientist S. Khlesteva, "the notion of the moral duty of a doctor, the exceptional importance of a complex of moral and ethical issues in his professional activity, developed over two millennia before the word" deontology "came to light, and in the middle of the 18th century it was medicine that was prepared to accept the methodological concepts of I. Bentham on the duty and proper behaviour of the specialist". The fact that medical deontology was the subject to evolution is evidenced by a large number of well-known monuments of deontological content. According to P. Zabludowski, "various cults (totemism), beliefs arose much later than the original medicine, hence the chronicles of the magicians, soothsayers, healers, and" ounys" testify to the existence of a medical case long before the appearance of writing". M. Dumka, referring to the work of doctors, argued that "their activities are of the same age with the primitive man". It should be noted that the original history is nameless; it did not leave us any names or memorable dates. We can only hypothetically state that people have always been ill, and hence there was a need for treatment, providing medical care to the sick. We can assume that it was in ancient times that moral and ethical norms were formed regarding the personality of the doctor. The image of an ideal doctor was improved for many centuries, depending on the level of culture, religion, political system, national traditions, as well as socio-economic and class relations. The medicine of the most significant period of ancient times in the history laid the foundation for the development of medical deontology. Moral and ethical requirements for doctors formulated by the scientists of the Ancient East, Greece and Rome are still acute today and correspond to the challenges which the society throws down to a medical worker of a new generation.

Keywords: deontology, medical deontology, ethics, morality, physician, antiquity

Full text: PDF (Ukr) 217K

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