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22 Nov 2017 18:32
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  •   Home > News > Health & Safety

    Kiwi doctor makes medical history

    A Kiwi doctor's recommendation to change an oath sworn by physicians around the globe has been unanimously approved by the World Medical Association.


    A New Zealand doctor has succeeded in a bid to change the oath sworn by physicians around the globe.

    Doctor Sam Hazledine has had his proposal to add doctors' wellbeing into the Declaration of Geneva - the modern successor to the ancient Hippocratic Oath - approved by the World Medical Association's General Assembly in Chicago.

    Dr Hazledine, the founder of medical recruitment company MedRecruit, two years ago launched a petition to add a clause to the oath to "take care of my health and wellbeing, so I can provide care of the highest standard".

    He started the effort after seeing doctors struggling with stress and fatigue through his recruitment work, saying the way physicians were living was harming patients.

    "Sacrificing yourself, your own health, is not best for your patients," he said at the time.

    "There's more and more research showing that stressed and overworked doctors are more likely to suffer burn out and make mistakes."

    The WMA on Sunday morning (NZT) included the recommendation as part of an update to the declaration - which was adopted in 1948.

    Following the vote, Dr Hazledine told Radio NZ he was "absolutely thrilled".

    "What we have now is a value set that has been rounded out to be worthy of doctors in the 21st century," he said.

    The new pledge also includes a series of other changes, including around patient autonomy and sharing of knowledge.

    "The life of physicians today is completely different to what it was in 1948 when the original Declaration of Geneva was adopted," WMA president Yoshitake Yokokura said in a statement.

    "We hope that the declaration approved today will be used by all physicians around the world to strengthen the profession's determination."

    The oath is used by doctors across the world and in some countries is even legally binding.


    NZN




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