Marsh, H. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery


What is it like to be a brain surgeon?
How does it feel to hold someone’s life in your hands, to cut into the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason?
How do you live with the consequences of performing a potentially life-saving operation when it all goes wrong?
DO NO HARM is an unforgettable insight into the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern hospital. Above all, it is a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life’s most difficult decisions.

Publisher: W&N
Year 2014
ISBN-10: 0297869876

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2 thoughts on “Marsh, H. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery

  1. Peter Knapp

    An engaging and accessible book notionally about neurosurgery but really about very much more. I learned about the pressures on doctors and liked his honest accounts of his clinical decisions (both good and bad). However it was his descriptions of relationships with patients that interested and moved me most – particularly the difficulty in maintaining ’emotional distance’ when talking with distressed patients. A book written by a wise, kind and humane doctor.

  2. John Cookson

    A very interesting book with novel chapter headings! Perhaps the most poignant moment is when he visits a patient at a hospice-type for chronically disabled neurological patients run by nuns. On the doors he recognises the names of several of his former patients whom he either could not help or he actually made worse by his interventions.

    Time and again the issues are not what can be done but what should be done or more specifically what should be done which will best enable the patient to reach the goals that they desire.

    Reading between the lines, Henry Marsh may not always have been a comfortable colleague with whom to work. This is true of many high achievers; their ability to enable change seems directly related to their ability to disrupt. I sometimes worry that our appraisal and re-validation systems encourage the bland conformist who gets on well with everyone and does what they are told. Where will the creative disruptors like Henry Marsh come from in the future?


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