Ancient Greece: Ancient Lessons for Modern Medicine

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, insisted that physicians acknowledge the limitations of medicine and refrain from “treating those who are overmastered by their diseases.” As a result, physicians treated curable diseases, while conditions identified as chronic and incurable fell increasingly under the care of priests of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. We will explore the enduring implications of this early classification of disease for health care practices in the 21st century, with an emphasis on heroic and compassionate medicine and the emergence of assisted dying as an accepted medical treatment.

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