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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and…

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

by Henry Marsh

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4922920,793 (4.14)76
  1. 00
    What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri (fountainoverflows)
    fountainoverflows: While Marsh's book is ostensibly a collection of stories about experiences with neurosurgery patients, there is a great deal to be gleaned about doctors'--and, in particular, surgeons' emotional states, especially when the diagnosis is very grim.… (more)

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My transgender migraine patient loaned me this book, having been impressed by the frankness and tone of the book. This is an autobiographical recounting of many cases operated on by the neurosurgeon Henry Marsh in Britain. He organizes his chapters around various neurosurgical diagnoses, recounting in each a personal history of a case, including sometimes the details of the operation, in others the fights with the administration of the National Health Service, and his adventures into the Ukraine, to do surgery on advanced tumors and other lesions. He really writes well, and spares none of his failings, but through it all is the arrogance and self-importance of a neurosurgeon. ( )
  neurodrew | Feb 13, 2018 |
An interesting view into the life of a neurosurgeon. With each chapter covering a different episode in Dr. Marsh career, the story weaves back and forth through his life. In turns humorous and touching, I am left with the impression as much as of a doctor who chafes under the restrain of the bureaucracy of the NHS as much as in awe of the neurosurgery itself. In a way the distain from stupid rules and regulations made the book more accessible. How doesn’t have aspects of their working life that make things unnecessarily difficult.

This book is a good companion read to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks. ( )
  dreamweaver529 | Jan 31, 2018 |
The book was very dry reading. There was very little information about the patient's and their long term outcomes. Mostly it's pretty scary information about the risk of brain surgery and the poor outcome of brain tumors. ( )
  kerryp | Nov 30, 2017 |
Very interesting book that kept me gripped. I felt a bit ill at times reading parts of it but in my opinion that shows how good the writing is. I have so much respect for Henry Marsh & surgeons in general. This book is a stark reminder of the turmoil they have to go through on a daily basis. Only missed out on 5 stars as I hoped for a more conclusive ending but that shouldn't detract from the fact that this book is excellent. ( )
  rowls100 | Oct 16, 2017 |
ספר יוצא מן הכלל. מרתק כמו הבלש הטוב ביותר, מפחיד כמו ספר האימה הטוב ביותר והעיקר המנון לאדם - על המוח המופלא שלו ועל היכולת והאומץ של אלה שמנתחים אותו ומקבלים באופן רצינלי כמה שאפשר את ההחלטות הקשות ביותר עבור החולים שלהם ועבור עצמם. בנוסף כתב אישום כבד נגד הביורוקרטיה הרפואית של ה NHS ( )
  amoskovacs | Sep 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
As a young doctor just starting out, Henry Marsh watched a neurosurgeon operate on a woman’s brain, going after a dangerous aneurysm that could rupture and kill her. This kind of surgery — taking place several inches inside the patient’s head — was perilous, and often compared, as he writes in his riveting new memoir, to bomb disposal work, “though the bravery required is of a different kind as it is the patient’s life that is at risk and not the surgeon’s.”

There was “the chase,” as the surgeon stalked his prey deep within the brain, then “the climax as he caught the aneurysm, trapped it, and obliterated it with a glittering, spring-loaded titanium clip, saving the patient’s life.” More than that, Dr. Marsh goes on, “the operation involved the brain, the mysterious substrate of all thought and feeling, of all that was important in human life — a mystery, it seemed to me, as great as the stars at night and the universe around us. The operation was elegant, delicate, dangerous and full of profound meaning. What could be finer, I thought, than to be a neurosurgeon?”

Dr. Marsh would become one of Britain’s foremost neurosurgeons, and in this unflinching book, “Do No Harm,” he gives us an extraordinarily intimate, compassionate and sometimes frightening understanding of his vocation. . . . .
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"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. If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached surgeons, this ... brutally honest account will make you think again"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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