Do No Harm

Marsh, Henry

  12 Reviews

In this contemplation of a distinguished career, British brain surgeon Henry Marsh reveals what goes on behind those swinging doors leading into the operating theatre. Written with disarming candour, it is a memoir offering a fascinating insight into the holy grail of surgery: its successes and failures and its effects on those wielding the scalpel.

Featuring drama and compassion through to risk and wonder, it is a moving and informative account of the world of neurosurgery.



A fascinating but often disconcerting look at the triumphs and tragedies of work at this level. The human element features strongly throughout the book.
Such an human revealing insight into the complexity of surgeons' lives. Marsh's growing understanding of the impact his work has on not just the patient, but family, friends, colleagues and himself. Generated a wide ranging discussion across broad health issues, treatments. Definitely recommend it to other groups.
Of the 12 in our group only 10 members read the book and one of the missing was a nurse, whose feedback wouldve been valuable. Everybody found it a riveting read, he was an honest and empathetic man who had to make life/death decisions for his patients. Able to admit to mistakes and move on. A minority felt as a man he was arrogant, although dealing with the bureaucracy of the NHS would challenge the very best of ones patience. Those that watched the doco in Ukraine found it confronting but we were full of admiration for his skills and ability to be honest in these challenging surrounds.
Some members could not get past details of operations. Others enjoyed it.
ROTO 006
Everybody enjoyed the book and found it an interesting read which generated a huge amount of conversation around a range of topics.
TAUR 004
Everyone was fascinated by this book. Despite the subject matter, it was an easy and riveting read. An insight into the stress of a surgeon's life and how management can make their jobs more difficult.
CAMB 001
Fantastic discussion and rated as the best book of the year. We can't wait to get his new one.
WELL 117
Unusually the group was unanimous in rating the book very highly. Most said they were unlikely to have chosen to read it, but were glad it was on our list. All thought it was well written, and admired Henry Marsh for his approach, both honest and humble.
MILT 002
The book was excellent. It gave the reader a subjective view of a professional charged with huge responsibility - ethical, moral and technical. Most read a chapter at a time as there was so much to take in. A brave and honest record written from the heart. Provoked research online!
Excellent discussion, and we could have found even more to discuss. Notes helpful. Remarkable man.
AUCK 088
We found this book a very compassionate and committed account of the difficulties of making decisions which affect the lives of other people.From knowing when to operate and when to "leave well enough alone" to deciding when to allow junior doctors to take over procedures,a senior surgeon's decisions are crucial and as Henry Marsh shows, brain surgeons are only human beings with special skills who can and do make mistakes. From his reactions to some of those mistakes we all agreed that Marsh is a very empathetic and compassionate man whom we would trust to operate to the best of his considerable ability.
AUCK 335
We found this book well worth reading although for some detailed passages re surgery were difficult.We had good discussion about some of the issues raised,in particular the dilemmas faced by the neurosurgeon. Should saving life be an overriding criterion There was considerable discussion and some disageement about the author. Was he arrogant If so where did this stem from: character, training, medical subculture Having previously read The Brain that Changes Itself and My Stroke of Insight, two books about the brain, we found that Do No Harm gave a different and very interesting perspective.