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

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 lifesaving operation when it all goes wrong?

In neurosurgery, more than in any other branch of medicine, the doctor's oath to "do no harm" holds a bitter irony. Operations on the brain carry grave risks. Every day, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh must make agonizing decisions, often in the face of great urgency and uncertainty.

If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached doctors, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again. With astonishing compassion and candor, 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.

Title:Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780297869870
Format Type:

    Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery Reviews

  • Alison Anderson

    I read this book because Mr Marsh operated on a friend of mine who had a brain tumour - she sadly died, but 5 years after her surgery. Some throwaway lines such as "I like to wash my female patients' ...

  • Petra-X Off having adventures

    This was a bit of a surprise after reading several of the late Oliver Sacks books on neurology (view spoiler)[ including On the Move, his autobiography and my best book of the year (hide spoiler)], co...

  • Caroline

    An intensely readable book about Henry Marsh's experiences as a neurosurgeon, working for St George's Hospital, under the British National Health Service. It also describes the charity work he does at...

  • Erika

    4.5 stars. The Goodread’s description of Do No Harm talks about the books’ “astonishing compassion and candor” and says it’s “it is a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life's mos...

  • Rebecca

    “Terrible job, neurosurgery. Don’t do it.” Lucky for us, Henry Marsh reports back from the frontlines of brain surgery so we don’t have to. He’s nearing retirement age after a career divided...

  • Valliya Rennell

    3.25 stars “Life without hope is hopelessly difficult but at the end hope can so easily make fools of us all.” In this book, Mr. Marsh tries to show the reader what it is like to be a neurosurge...

  • Nicky

    If you’re really squeamish about blood and body parts and squishy bits, this isn’t the book for you. Marsh talks a lot about the practicality of operating on the brain, as well as about interactin...

  • Laura

    Is there anything more frightening than the thought of being diagnosed with a brain tumour? In the vast world of illness and disease, it is perhaps the singular worst thing any patient can begin to co...

  • Ammar

    In 25 chapters, each built around a neurosurgical operation (infections and strokes but mostly tumors), the author provides vivid accounts of patients before and after surgery as well as encounters wi...

  • Melissa

    Read this for a bookclub. Not my usual style which is why I'm always reluctant to joining bookclubs- I'm 30 years old now, I know what sort of books I enjoy. Life's too short to read books you're not ...