Henry Marsh read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University
before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons
in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson
Morley's/St.George's in 1987. He has
been the subject of two major documentary films: Your Life in their Hands (BBC, 2003) which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal and The English Surgeon which won an Emmy. He was made a CBE by HM the Queen in 2010.
Do No Harm (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2014) is a powerful and gripping memoir which reveals what it is to play god in the face of the
life-and-death decisions a neurosurgeon encounters daily. Clever, shocking and
brutally candid, Henry Marsh never shirks the difficult questions be
they moral, philosophical, ethical or emotional. Above all this is a book about the moving personal
dilemmas that lie behind every operation he performs, and his encounters
with patients whose lives are balanced on a knife's edge.
His book Admissions (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2017) reflects upon what forty years spent handling the human brain has taught
Henry. He explores the difficulties of a
profession that deals in probabilities rather than certainties, and where the
overwhelming urge to prolong life can come at a tragic cost for both patients
and for those who love them. In this searing, provocative, and deeply personal
memoir Henry, moving between encounters with patients in his London hospital to
those he treats in the more extreme circumstances of his work in Nepal and
Ukraine, faces up to the overwhelming burden of responsibility that can come
with trying to reduce human suffering and develops a fresh understanding of
what matters to us all in the end.
He is currently working on his new book, And Finally (Cape, 2022). Elegiac, candid, luminous and poignant, this memoir is ultimately not so much a book about death, but a book about life and what matters in the end.