Thursday, 27 March 2014

hippocratic oath

The proper symbol and signature of the medical arts is the Staff of Asclepius, represented by a snake entwined upon a walking-stick in reference to the mythological doctor and founder of the science.
The sign, however, is often conflated, especially in the United States, with the Caduceus, a symbol of Apollo—his father, two winged snakes in a helix, like DNA, due to the singular insistence of one unit commander of the US army's cadet medical enterprise who was convinced he was correct and that two snakes were better than one and looked a bit better as a unit badge. The emblem of Asclepius himself is of uncertain origins and may represent the dual nature of medicine, with either the ability to support in the right doses or toxic when dispensed too freely, and indeed, supplicants who went to places sacred to Asclepius to be healed found themselves in a den of non-venomous serpents and is immortalised in the night-sky in the constellation Ophiucus, the snake-handler. Some think that the mistaken Caduceus is a perfectly valid symbol, ironically, for modern medical practises, as Apollo was basically the traveling salesman of the gods and sold a good line—rather the ambulance-chaser instead of the ambulance, and possibly an inherited-trait.
Some traditions hold that Asclepius was struck down by a bolt from Zeus for bringing back to life the other tragic character of Hippolytus in exchange for a handsome treasure. Apollo, in turn, killed the Cyclopes, outraged, who forged Zeus' righteous thunder. Asclepius was resurrected and placed among the stars in order to restore Zeus' quiver. This confusion is mostly regulated mostly to institutions in the States, however other agencies have incorporated the family crest appropriately, like the licensed dispensaries in Germany, who hang the sign of the Bowl of Hygieia, one of Asclepius' graceful daughters who was able to charm the enduring spectre of over-medication.