If hippocratic and other professionally generated codes of medical ethics fail to provide an adequate moral foundation for physicians who are not pythagoreans that is for physicians who are simultaneously members of some non hippocratic religious or secular community with a worldview expressing a moral perspective then the two obvious . Hippocratic religious and secular medical ethics is one of those books that provides us with a bigger picture of our everyday narrow topic of interest in the field of medical ethics fundamental questions lead us to the sources of the most important points of conflict in this field. The hippocratic oath and the ethic of hippocratism 2 the hippocratic tradition a sporadic retreat 3 the cacophony of codes in medical schools and professional associations 4 the limits of professionally generated ethics 5 religious medical ethics revealed and natural alternatives 6 secular ethics and professional ethics 7. Since many health professionals are simultaneously members of these religious or secular traditions the question arises of what someone should do when the hippocratic code conflicts with these other moral claims among religious sources of knowledge of moral norms some rely on revelation both karl barth and oral roberts provide examples. The hippocratic oath occupies a privileged place in medical ethical discourse but dr robert m veatch challenges the assumption that the hippocratic oath in particular and professionally based ethics in general can serve as a foundation for medical ethics he argues the hippocratic oath is neither noncontroversial nor universal in nature
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