Ὠφελέειν ή μη βλάπτειν – ‘To help, or at least, to do no harm’

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Ὠφελέειν ή μη βλάπτειν - ‘To help, or at least, to do no harm’ Hippocrates proclaimed 25 centuries ago. 

 This expression was passed on, like a batton, from Hippocrates to Galen, to Thomas Sydenham, to Florence Nightingale and across the oceans to the United States, Japan and other countries, while along the way was transformed to contemporary and trendy languages, becoming the famous injunction in Latin: “primum non nocere”.

Hippocrates, the originator of this quote, was not only an inspiring physician and teacher of the medical school of Kos that he founded. Neither was he just the most famous doctor of his time and the one who is still now considered by most physicians, historians and philosophers to be the Father of Medicine. He did something no-one else had done before: he systematically wrote down and passed on to future generations his research observations, teachings, theories, philosophy, ethics and regimes for health and illness. 

His teaching continues to be of great significance to us today and deserves to be studied by the modern physicians and other healthcare professionals.