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Hippocrates of Ostia

Dickinson W. Richards, MD
JAMA. 1968;206(2):377-378. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150020093032.
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To the Editor:—  I appreciate the comment of Dr. Strange on my article on Hippocrates of Ostia; specifically, that I made a serious error in claiming that the prohibition in the "Oath" of the use of the pessary for abortion "was not a part of any moral code, other than the Pythagorean." It is apparent that Dr. Strange knows much about the Persians and the Persian Empire, and in particular, that the Persian code of medicine and ethics was opposed to abortion. Insofar as I made an error in quoting Professor Edelstein as I did, I am grateful to Dr. Strange for setting the record straight.Although referring only to the use of the pessary, the "Oath," as it is usually interpreted, is intended to prohibit abortion of any kind. It is a question to what extent the Hippocratic School actually practiced therapeutic abortion. Its intense interest in the many


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