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Do No Harm
  1. Helen Grote,
  2. Frederick Schon
  1. Department of Neurology, St. George's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Grote, Department of Neurology, St. George's Hospital, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London SW17 0QT, UK; helen.grote{at}

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By Henry Marsh. Publisher: W&N

Inspired by reports of neurology book clubs in Boston, USA, and Cardiff,1 we recently started one at St George's, London, replacing the usual Tuesday lunchtime journal club every 8 weeks. All doctors working in neurology and stroke are invited to a round-table discussion, lasting about an hour and to suggest appropriate books for future meetings, which individual doctors usually buy.

At our last meeting, Henry Marsh, one of our consultant neurosurgeons, kindly agreed to discuss his new book. The book's title refers to the Hippocratic Oath. ‘First do no harm’ is a wonderful principle; however, in neurosurgery, as the author explains, no matter how accomplished the surgeon, some patients inevitably will be harmed. Often, making the decision to operate is harder than the operation itself.

Henry Marsh has previously made two award-winning films about his life as a neurosurgeon and this book is the literary equivalent of a ‘fly …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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