According to various dictionaries, ‘health care’ is defined as the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injury, whether physical or mental, that affects humans. In other words, health care is all about improving or maintaining the health of an individual.
When a medical student graduates and becomes a licensed doctor, he/she takes the Hippocratic Oath. Originating back in the polytheistic days of ancient Greece, the oath has been modernized by many of today’s medical schools. One version that is commonly used by many of those schools is the version penned in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University. His version of the oath reads in part:
“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism…
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure…