Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 2020


Neal, M. 2020. How Relevant is the Hippocratic Oath in Guiding Physicians' Views on Physician-assisted Suicide? Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Megan Neal 2020.


The Hippocratic Oath is an ancient vow that most doctors, especially within the last century in the United States, take upon their graduation from medical school. The importance of this oath, however, is up for debate as medical advances and cultural beliefs in the rights of the patient evolve. The Hippocratic Oath has been adapted many times over the past few centuries to reflect the beliefs of the period, but the original Oath still survives. One of the most recent movements in the medicine has been the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in select states. Using a qualitative, thematic approach, this study analyzes the original Hippocratic Oath and how physicians from two urban areas in Nebraska view PAS in relation to their promise to do no harm.