Published June 30, 2023 | Version v1
Preprint Open

The Biomedical Engineer's Pledge 1.0

  • 1. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2. Instituto de Filosofía, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • 3. Electronic Technology Department, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain
  • 4. University of Granada, Granada, Spain
  • 5. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain
  • 6. Neural Rehabilitation Group, Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • 7. Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), Barcelona, Spain
  • 8. Comparative Medicine and Bioimage Centre (CMCiB). Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute, Badalona, Spain
  • 9. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • 10. Advice In Medical Device (A!MD) France
  • 11. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 12. Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • 13. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 14. Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 15. Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico
  • 16. Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud. Fundación Barceló-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 17. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Delhi, India
  • 18. Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel
  • 19. Universidad of Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Instituto de Física Interdisciplinaria y Aplicada, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 20. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • 21. Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Gustave Roussy, Metabolic and Systemic Aspects of Oncogenesis (METSY), Villejuif, France
  • 22. Institute of Neuroscience and Dept Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain
  • 23. Tecnologia Regenerativa Qrem S.L., Barcelona, Spain
  • 24. Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • 25. University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA
  • 26. Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT, Germany
  • 27. Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona IMB-CNM, CSIC, Bellaterra, Spain
  • 28. Intelligent Energy-based Tumor Ablation Laboratory, School of Mechatronic Engineering and Automation, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China
  • 29. Science, Communication and Society Studies Center, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain


The professional practice of biomedical engineering can lead to severe consequences. These potential consequences do not differ from those expected in the exercise of the medical profession. Hence, the ethical framework of biomedical engineers (BMEs) should not differ substantially from the ethical framework of medical doctors (MDs). In medicine, an element that is perceived as symbolic but essential in the formation of the ethical conscience of MDs is the “Hippocratic Oath”. The “Hippocratic Oath”, or its modern adaptation, the “Physician's Pledge”, is a brief not legally binding solemn declaration of ethical commitments that medical students take as a rite of passage in their final year or just after graduation. In other healthcare professions, such as nursing or pharmacy, sometimes the “Hippocratic Oath” is also taken. However, in its different versions, the “Hippocratic Oath” contains aspects that would not apply to the field of biomedical engineering and, therefore, its adoption without adaptations would be inappropriate. We have drafted a “Biomedical Engineer’s Pledge” aiming at strengthening the ethical awareness of future biomedical engineers. It consists of a preamble sentence, ten promises, and a concluding sentence. Top priority is given to the first promise, which combines the fundamental principles of beneficence and non-maleficence.


The Biomedical Engineer’s Pledge manuscript.pdf

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