FIRST, DO NO HARM

 The Hippocratic oath, “First, Do No Harm,” is a prerequisite vow taken by all physicians. A pledge of integrity for patients, who are placing their lives and welfare into a doctor’s hands. An age-old and creditable responsibility. This sworn promise is subsequently enforced thru strict malpractice regulation.

This same principle, “First, Do No Harm” is manifest within our criminal justice system as Police, Prosecutors, and Judges assume responsibility for people’s lives and construe, “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” In contrast, the activities of these public officials go unregulated along with the protection of absolute impunity, in the advent of malpractice or professional misconduct. Although laws exist to the contrary, manipulation of case evidence and witnesses has become common practice.

How less vital is a Judge or Prosecutors veracity when rendering a verdict as compared to a Medical doctor? In either case, the results can be frighteningly similar. Such that, according to statistics from the United States Department of Justice, 8% to 12% of state prisoners nationally are actually or factually innocent. Unfortunately, the death penalty has been abolished in only 20 of 50 United States.

Pursuing justice with a lack of integrity is “The Hypocritic Oath.”  When ethics and impartiality are replaced with malfeasance and self-serving interests, an accused defendant is denied justice and the right to a fair trial.