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The Hippocratic Oath and Beginning of Life Issues - Donna Harrison, MD

[1 Credit Hour]
This course is available for physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner continuing education. A general attendance certificate is also available.

Recorded live at The Right of Conscience and Cultural Change in Medicine conference held in Dallas, TX on February 29, 2020.
Original Release Date: 3/1/20
Termination Date: 2/28/23

How should we define conscience? Some would claim it is a “personal moral problem.” Others would express conscience as “the inherent ability of every healthy human being to perceive what is right and what is wrong and, on the strength of this perception, to control, monitor, evaluate and execute their actions.” These fundamental differences in our understanding of conscience, along with the role of conscience in decision-making by health care providers, lie at the crux of the current divide in modern medicine. This presentation will explore the philosophical nature of conscience and its implications for the practice of medicine at the beginning of life.


  • Evaluate the place of the Hippocratic Oath in forming the foundation of medical ethics and the doctor patient relationship.
  • Discuss the two current competing narratives of "health" and the role of the health care professional in decision making
  • Identify the imminent threats to the continued practice of Hippocratic Medicine in the US and globally.