A 450-Year-Old Turkish Poem on Medical Ethics


JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY, cilt.14, sa.3, ss.445-449, 2017 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 14 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2017
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s11673-017-9789-6
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.445-449


The Ottoman physician-poet Nidai of Ankara (1509 to post-1567) studied medicine in Crimea and served as a court physician in Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Selim II. Nidai marked the classical period of Ottoman medicine particularly with his acclaimed works and translations in Turkish, among which Manafi al-Nas (Benefits of People, 1566) became widely known. The final chapter of Manafi al-Nas also is known independently under the name Vasiyyetname (Last Will), which is a remarkable guide on medical ethics. This didactic, sixty-eight-line poem includes Nidai's moral advice to physicians that they should be well mannered, trustworthy, and competent in their arts and should treat their patients with modesty, honesty, and compassion. Even after 450 years of existence, Vasiyyetname retains its ethical and artistic relevance and still serves as a vehicle for the transmission of humanistic ideals far beyond the time and place it was written.