First, Do No Harm
“Primum non nocere”
Is the Latin translation from the original Greek
For the oath, “First, do no harm.”
It’s the Hippocratic Oath that medical students take.
But it’s also the tenets enshrined
In the world religions of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism
Doctors will undoubtedly do harm
When they attempt to treat patients
How could they not order CT scans, MRIs, mammograms,
Biopsies, vaccinations, and blood tests?
These procedures could have deleterious effects.
But doctors have to recommend these tests
Because the potential benefits outweigh the risks
But religious faith traditions like Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism
Are known to have principles of “non-violence”
To these faith traditions the concept of “do no harm”
Not only extends to all living organisms of God’s creation
But to “how and what people think, their words, and deeds.”
For these believers “thoughts are influential in our interactions with all creation.”
“Universal Spirit, help us to use good judgment as we endeavor to “do no harm.”
Give us insight for making correct decisions in cases that are complex. And help us to be wise in weighing the good benefits of our actions against the risk of harm.”
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