Hypocrisy or Hippocratic Oath? You Decide

Today’s Wall St. Journal’s front page featured a surgeon who has opened his own surgical center in Rapid City, South Dakota. When asked why he opened it, he responded, “Profit, profit, profit.” Dr. Larry Teuber has unabashedly claimed that he performs surgery for profit and not the public good. This neurosurgeon in South Dakota caters to the rich and those able to pay for the center’s lavish procedures. What has become of medicine and the Hippocratic oath when doctors openly proclaim, indeed boast, that they are practicing their profession merely for profit? What about the Hippocratic Oath which states in part, “I will apply for the sick, all measures which are required. . .I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes those related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.” Where did Hippocrates say, “I will only treat the rich and those who can afford my care?”