Swiss Medical Oath

Swiss Medical Oath - Pledge for medical doctors

The Hippocratic Oath is considered the first fundamental formulation of medical ethics and serves as the basis of the Geneva Declaration of the World Medical Association published 1948. In order to adapt this oath to today's challenges of the medical profession, a working group of the "Dialog Ethik" Foundation, with the support of the FMCH, has drafted a new oath - the "Swiss Medical Oath". The Swiss Medical Oath became now completely independent and is only related to the association "Swiss Medical Oath", which will be responsible for its implementation!


The oath is a clear sign for the dignity of the medical profession and its responsibility towards the patients. The Swiss Medical Oath is primarily intended to protect the valuable patient-doctor relationship from economic influences and thus to protect patients from false economic incentives such as volume-dependent bonuses or budget caps. In addition, it serves to strengthen the professional ethics of physicians and to ensure medical quality, especially the quality of indications.

The Swiss Medical Oath is attracting increasing attention in politics, in the media, and at the international level, too.

Wording of the Oath:

In practicing the medical profession I commit to act as follows:

  • I practice my profession to the best of my knowledge and conscience and assume responsibility for my acting.
  • I regard the wellbeing of the patients as a priority and avert any avoidable damage to them.
  • I respect the rights of the patients, adhere primarily to their will, and respect their needs as well as their interests.
  • I treat the patients without any discrimination[1] and adhere to the physician-patient confidentiality.
  • I meet the patients with goodwill and take the time necessary attending to their concerns (and the concerns of their relatives).
  • I talk to the patients honestly and comprehensively and support them making their own decisions.
  • I treat the patients according to the art of medical practice, the actual standards, and within the limits of my abilities; I do not exploit them for career reasons or other purposes, and do not impose any treatment on them that would not be acceptable for me or the people closest to me.
  • I practice medicine appropriately and within the scope of my own possibilities, and I only recommend or take measures that make sense.
  • I preserve my integrity and do not accept any kind of payment or other benefits, particularly with regards to referrals of patients; I do not enter into any contract that oblige me to provide certain quantities of services or to neglect such ones.
  • I strive to provide appropriate resources for the treatment of my patients, use the resources given to me for their treatment in a transparent and equitable manner and accept monetary benefits exclusively for activities that are medically indicated.
  • I behave correctly and truthfully towards my professional colleagues, share with them my knowledge and experience, and respect their decisions and actions as far as they are consistent with the ethical and scientific standards of our profession.

[1] «Without discrimination» means: without discrimination based on gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnic origin, social or insurance status and nationality.