Ukraine Today Opinion: Henry Marsh sees hope and challenges ahead for Ukraine

Ukraine Today, 16 March 2015

‘In England my fascination and love for Ukraine was regarded by most people, until recently, as eccentric and rather puzzling …’

Read the full article

Advertisements

Guardian first book award: the shortlist

Guardian, 15 November 2014

‘I try, in Do No Harm, to show what it is really like to be a brain surgeon … Alas, we are just as liable to make mistakes, but it is extraordinarily painful and difficult to admit to our own fallibility and to deal with its sometimes awful consequences.’

One of the five shortlisted authors for the Guardian first book award, Henry talks about how Do No Harm came to be written, and features an extract from the book.

Read the full article

A doctor’s story: what his son’s illness taught him

Telegraph, 15 November 2014

‘Older doctors – and I am now an older doctor – often comment that they did not really understand what their patients and their relatives were going through until they themselves, or members of their family, became patients. I had this experience right at the beginning of my career.’

Henry writes about the experience of his son’s brain tumour, and how it may have influenced the trajectory of his medical career.

Read the full article

Review: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
New Statesman, 23 October 2014

‘Towards the end of Being Mortal, the author describes the satisfaction of helping one of his patients to a good death rather than inflicting what doctors call “aggressive” treatment, with only a small chance of significantly prolonging the patient’s life. Most surgeons, as they get older, learn that knowing when not to operate is just as important as knowing how to operate, and is a more difficult skill to acquire.’

Read the full review

The Big Question: What’s the best escape?

Intelligent Life, November/December 2014

One of six writers including Anne Enright, Alan Johnson and Arianna Huffington, Henry gives his view on what the best form of escape is when life becomes fraught.

Although he considers himself to be ‘permanently on call’, Henry manages to escape every day, because his escape is the workshop at the bottom of his garden.

‘There is the same joy in using your hands in a useful way but without all the anxieties … At least with woodwork the only risk is to my self-esteem, and an occasional bruised finger.’

Read the full article

What a brain surgeon does in his spare time

My book is about what it’s like to be a brain surgeon, but there’s not much about the rest of my life (is this what blogs are supposed to be about?), so here is what one brain surgeon does in his spare time:

Henry Marsh in Ukraine

In Maidan in Kiev five weeks ago wearing my revolutionary blue and yellow ribbon. The hospital where I work is two hundred yards away. I studied Kremlinology many years ago at Oxford – I now combine it with brain surgery.

Henry Marsh Beekeeping

This pastoral scene is in my back garden where I keep bees (you can just see the red pillars of my workshop, where I make furniture, in the background) on the fringes of Tooting, five minutes’ bicycle ride from my hospital. Fortunately my neighbours are good friends and do not mind when my bees swarm into their garden (which they did six times last year).

Furniture Do No Harm

And here is the latest production from my workshop for my flat in Oxford – a bookcase incorporating a window and radiator. I sometimes think I might set up a business making architectural radiator covers – Early English, Perpendicular, Flamboyant, Ottoman, Doric, Ionic, etc. – this one being Romanesque.

Kate Fox

And, finally, here is my wife, Kate Fox (anthropologist and author of Watching the English), who encouraged me to write Do No Harm and came up with the perfect title.

The British brain surgeon who joined the fight against corruption in Ukraine

Guardian, 12 September 2014

Henry writes about how he came to visit and work in Ukraine after meeting fellow neurosurgeon Igor Kurilets in the State Emergency Hospital, ‘who was burning with a fierce determination to improve things that most of his senior colleagues seemed to lack’, in 1992.

He also describes the exhilaration he felt visiting the Maidan in Independence Square, only a few hundred yards from the hospital he works in, just before the violence broke out: ‘the atmosphere – despite the sinister police – was cheerful, yet you could feel a very real sense of determination’.

Read the full article