President Saparmurat Niyazov (file photo) (RFE/RL)
15 November 2005 -- State media say doctors in Turkmenistan must now pledge allegiance to President Saparmurat Niyazov, instead of taking the traditional Hippocratic oath.
The "Neutralnii Turkmenistan" daily reports today that doctors must kneel solemnly and take the pledge to Niyazov and his book of moral guidance, the "Rukhnama."
The president-for-life has made his "Rukhnama" mandatory reading for all civil servants and students.
The new pledge also sets a dozen rules for new doctors, including a ban on euthanasia.