Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Marsh is a British brain surgeon and part of his aim in this book is to talk about his mistakes as well as his successes. As you can imagine, there is very little room for error in brain surgery. He admits his own amazement, looking down into the patient's brain, and realizing that is where thought originates and makes us who we are. Marsh considers neurosurgery to be more of a craft than an exact science, and when he pulls out the drills and saws, we understand his point. There were times when I had to set the book aside for a while, because the surgery descriptions are graphic and intense. Ultimately, this book is a profile of a man, who courageously cuts into the brains of patients in an attempt to give them a few more years of life, or the ability to live without seizures. He must guide the patient toward the correct decision, because sometimes surgery is not always the best option. Sometimes it's just too late. This book is one of my favorite books of 2015.

— From Mark B.


Named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post

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 lifesaving operation when it all goes wrong?

With astonishing compassion and candor, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon's life. Do No Harm provides 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.

About the Author

HENRY MARSH studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St George's Hospital in London in 1987. He has been the subject of two documentary films, Your Life in Their Hands, which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal, and The English Surgeon, which won an Emmy, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Do No Harm and NBCC finalist Admissions. He was made a CBE in 2010.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250090133
ISBN-10: 125009013X
Publisher: Picador USA
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English