Sun Si Miao [581—682 A.D.] was a famous clinician and alchemist. Credited with the first code of ethics for Chinese doctors; less a formal ‘code’, and more the philosophy of a virtuous physician and values that suggest an ethical practitioner. The principles primarily focus upon compassion, justice, beneficence and humility, rather than physician truth-telling and self-importance.
• First develop compassion, not giving way to wishes, desires, and judgments.
• She sympathizes in her heart with those who experience grief, as if she herself has been struck by it.
• She does not ponder her own fortune or misfortune above preserving life and having compassion for it.
• By no means should there arise an attitude of rejection. Sympathy, compassion, and care should develop for whomever suffers from conditions looked upon with contempt by people.
• Treat all patients alike, whether powerful or humble, rich or poor, old or young, beautiful or ugly, resentful relatives or kind friends, locals or foreigners, fool or wise.
• Neither dangerous mountain passes nor the time of day, neither weather conditions nor hunger, thirst nor fatigue, should keep her from helping whole-heartedly.
• She makes a dignified appearance, neither luminous nor somber.
• It is not permissible to be talkative and make provocative speeches, to make fun of others, raise one’s voice, to decide right from wrong, and to discuss other people and their business.
• The wealth of others should not be the reason to prescribe precious and expensive treatments. The object is to help.