Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered. Prompted by his retirement from his full-time job in the NHS, and through his continuing work in Nepal and Ukraine, Henry has been forced to reflect more deeply about what forty years spent handling the human brain has taught him.
Moving between encounters with patients in his London hospital, to those he treats in the more extreme circumstances of his work abroad, Henry faces up to the overwhelming burden of responsibility that can come with trying to reduce human suffering. Unearthing memories of his early days as a medical student, and the experiences that shaped him as a young surgeon, he explores the difficulties of a profession that deals in probabilities rather than certainties, and where the consequences of your decisions alter not just the life of a patient but also of those around them. The overpowering human urge to prolong life can often come at a great cost to those who are living it, and to those who love them.
In this searing, provocative and deeply personal memoir, the bestselling author of Do No Harm finds new purpose in his own life as he approaches the end of his professional career and a fresh understanding of what matters to us all in the end.