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gratuits à l'indigent, et n'exigerai jamais un salaire au dessus de mon travail. Admis dans l'intérieur des maisons, mes yeux ne verront pas ce qui s'y passe, ma langue taira les secrets qui mes seront confiés, et mon état ne servira

pas à corrompre

les moeurs ni à favoriser le crime. Respectueux et reconnaissant envers mes Mâitres, je rendrai à leur enfants l'instruction que j'ai reçue de leurs pères.

“Que les hommes m’accordent leur estime, si je suis fidèle à mes promesses ! Que je sois convert d'opprobre et méprisé de mes confrères si j'y manque.”

That of the University of Berlin (founded in 1809) may be taken as an instance of a comparatively modern form. In some of the continental Universities the oath is no longer required and even the function of a public graduation ceremonial has disappeared.

Oath taken by Medical Graduates of the University of Berlin.

“I promise and swear that I shall not practice the Art of Healing for my own good, but in order to show forth the Glory of God, to protect the health of men, and as far as lies in my power, to increase knowledge; that I shall carry out the work of a physician with the greatest faith and duty, and, as long as I have the

power, with care and prudence; that I shall come to the assistance of anyone in labour without distinction or preference, with no preference, with no ambition, but with equal attention to rich and poor; that I shall endanger the life of no man by rash experiments; that I shall never turn the practice of medicine away to vain or ignoble ends, but shall persevere with unremitting study to fathom and learn the art; that I shall treat my brethren of the art kindly, amicably, and as the dignity of the art demands; that I shall associate myself, with most ready spirit and with no regard for my own ends, with what ability I can, with their labours for the health of the sick, and in everything shall take pains to raise the art, which I profess, to the sanctity of a religion.

Ita me Deus adjuvet et sacro sanctum ejus evangelium.”

Coming nearer home to the Scottish Universities. In the University of Glasgow, medical graduates do not sign any oath or


sponsio. A declaration in the form given below is read over to them, and they signify their assent by bowing.

University of Glasgow. In accordance with the Promissory Oaths Act, 1868, a declaration in the following English form is now substituted for the Latin Oath, formerly required to be taken and subscribed by every candidate on graduation :-

“I make this solemn declaration in virtue of the Provisions of the Promissory Oaths Act, 1868, substituting a Declaration for Oaths in certain cases.

“I do solemnly and sincerely declare, that, as a Graduate in Medicine of the University of Glasgow, I will exercise the several parts of my profession, to the best of my knowledge and abilities, for the good, safety, and welfare of all persons committing themselves, or committed to my care and direction; and that I will not knowingly or intentionally do anything or administer anything to them to their hurt or prejudice, for any consideration, or from any motive whatever. And I further declare, that I will keep silence as to anything I have seen or heard while visiting the sick which it would be improper to divulge.”

The following statement sets forth the substitution of the declaration for the old Latin oath :

The Promissory Oaths Act, 1868, was several years in existence before the University adverted to it, or at all events took action upon it. The Calendars down to that for 1870-71, which would be published in 1870, regularly gave the Latin oath as one“ taken by all graduates in Medicine.” In the minutes of the Senate for 13th April, 1871, the following paragraph occurs :-“ The attention of the Senate having been called to the provisions of the Promissory Act, 1868, substituting a declaration for an oath in certain cases, the Senate resolve that the oath hitherto taken by all graduates in Medicine previous to receiving their degrees

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I call to witness Almighty God that I shall do all my endeavour to keep this oath. That I shall

1 The Oath yras in these vrords :-“Testor Deum omnipotentem me hoc jusjurandum pro virili servaturum ; Victus rationem aegris commodam et salutarem praescripturum : nullius interces. sione nec sponte noxium pharmacum cuiquam propinaturum ; sed sancte et caste vitam artem. que meam instituturum ; In quascunque domos intravero ad aegrotantium duntaxat salutem in. gressurum et ab omni injuria inferenda procul futurum ; Quaecunque inter curandum videro audiverove siquidem ea efferre non expediat silentio suppressuruni.'

prescribe for the sick a fitting and wholesome way of life. That at no one's behest nor of my own accord shall I give to anyone a hurtful drug. But that with uprightness and chastity I shall direct my life and my skill. That into whatever honies I enter it will be for no cause save to heal the sick and I shall utterly abstain from inflicting any wrong. That all that I see in the course of my cures, if it be not fitting to reveal it, I shall bury in silence.

shall be discontinued, and a declaration to the same effect be substituted in lieu thereof." The next Calendar (that for 1871-2, published in the summer of 1871) gives the form of declaration still used in place of the old Latin sponsio, and no doubt all who received medical degrees after the date of the Senate's resolution of 13th April, 1871, have made the declaration instead of taking the old Latin oath.


University of Edinburgh. The Sponsio Academica for graduates in medicine of the University of Edinburgh since 1803 is as follows:

Sponsio Academica for Graduates in Medicine. “Ego Doctoratus in Arte Medica titulo jam donandus, sancte coram Deo cordium scrutatore, spondeo, me in omni grati animi officio erga Universitatem Academicam Edinburgensem ad extremum vitæ halitum perseveraturum.

Tum porro Artem Medicam caute, caste, probeque exercitaturum, et quoad potero, omnia ad ægrotorum corporum salutem conducentia fide procuraturum. Quæ, denique, inter medendum visa vel audita sileri conveniat, non sive gravi causa vulgaturum.

Ita præsens spondenti adsit Numen."

“I, A. B., now to receive the degree of Doctor in Medicine, faithfully promise before God, the searcher of hearts, that I will continue to my last breath in all grateful duty towards the University of Edinburgh.

Moreover, that I will practice medicine with prudence, chastity and uprightness, and as far as my ability allows will faithfully supply all things that will lead to the recovery of the sick. Finally, I will not lightly reveal those things of which it is befitting not to speak which I have seen or heard as a healer,

So may God be present to my vow."

In the original form of 1803, the words are “Academiam Edinburgenam.” In 1705, the Sponsio is much longer and nearer the Hippocratic form. In that of 1731 it is much curtailed, but in both after “Spondeo” we have the words “me in veritate et puritate Religionis Christianæ ab omnibus Pontificorum erroribus repurgatæ.”

In 1803, a special “Sponsio pro Societate Amicorum qui vulgo dicuntur. Quakers.'” In this case for “Coram Deo” is substituted Coram Senatu Academico."


Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow. In the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, which was founded by Maister Peter Lowe in 1599, “ quha deceist upown the fyftein day of August, the zeir of God jm vje and ten zeiris.” (1610) the formula of admission to its membership is given below.

The Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow owes its foundation, in 1599, to Maister Peter Lowe, whose life has been so admirably written by Dr. James Finlayson, of Glasgow (1889). Doctor Peter Lowe's literary reputation rests chiefly on his work on “Chirurgerie,” published in 1597. “ This seems to have been the first original systematic treatise on the 'Whole Covrse of Chirurgerie 'published in the English language or indeed in any language in this country.”

He also was the first to publish in English a translation of one of the Hippocratic writings, the “ prognostics,” or as he quaintly style them, “ The Presages of the Diuine Hippocrates,” which was bound up with all the editions of his “ Chirurgerie.”

Peter Lowe describes himself as a.“ Scottishman, Doctor in the Facultie of Chirurgerie at Paris, and ordinary Chyrurgion to the French King and Navarre ” (2nd Ed. 1610). He practised“ in France, Flaunders and elsewhere the space of 22 yeeres, thereafter being Chirurgian maior to the Spanish Regiments at Paris 2 yeeres,” i.e., at the siege of Paris in 1589-90. He served about thirty years in France. Dr. Finlayson calculates that he was born in 1550, but the place of his birth is unknown. He settled in Glasgow in 1598, where he died in 1612, and is buried in the churchyard surrounding the Glasgow Cathedral. Fired with the ambition of obtaining for the West of Scotland the foundation of a College such as existed in Paris, Peter Lowe tells us in 1612 how “It pleased his Sacred Maiestie to heare my complaint about fowerteene yeeres agoe vpon certaine abusers of our Art, etc.” The upshoot was that King James VI. by “thir our letteris, makis, constitutis and ordinis Maister Peter Low, our Chirurgiane


and chief Chirurgiane to oure dearest son the Prince, with the assistance of Mr. Robert Hamiltone, Professoure of medicine, and their successouris, indwelleris in our Citie of Glasgow” full powers to supervise the practice of Medicine and Surgery in the West of Scotland. The Charter or “Priuiledge” was dated as written to the Privie Seil, “Penult Nomembr., 1599." The provisions of the Charter, as given in “ Account of the Life and Works of Maister Peter Lowe,” by my friend James Finlayson, M.D. (1889), to whom I am indebted for many of the particulars connected with the history and usages of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Peter Lowe also translated into English the “Protestation and Oath of the Diuine Hippocrates.” According to Dr. C. Creighton the translation of the Hippocratic passages was not made from the original, but from the French version of Canappe, published in Lyons in 1552.

Licentiates previous to their admission subscribe the following declaration :

“I hereby promise to maintain and defend all the rights and privileges of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and to promote the interests of that Body to the utmost of my power. I also promise, under pain of forfeiture of this Diploma, that I shall not advertise nor employ any other unbecoming method of obtaining practice, nor allow my name to be connected with anyone who so acts, or who is engaged in any discreditable kind of medical work. I also promise to obey all the laws and bye-laws of the said Faculty made or to be made, and to submit to the penalties therein imposed.”

A similar “ form of obligation ” must be signed by Licentiates of the “Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.” Their Charter was obtained in 1681 from Charles II.

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