Medscape 27 April 2017
Family First Comment: This should disturb everyone!
“He described the arguments from the anti-euthanasia group as being “grotesque.” “They argue that grannies will be made to commit suicide,” he said. “Even if a few grannies get bullied into it, isn’t that the price worth praying for all the people who could die with dignity?”
Renowned British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, CBE, FRCS, is back in the news with the publishing of his second volume of memoirs, in which he reminisces on 40 years of resecting brain tumors, as well as performing other complex neurosurgery procedures.
His latest book, Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery , comes 4 years after his first book, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery , was published in 2014 to wide acclaim, with glowing reviews in the Economist, the New Yorker, and the New Statesman .
Both contain reminiscences of the surgeries that he performed during the past 40 years, but in particular, he discusses the cases that went wrong. “As I approach the end of my career I feel an increasing obligation to bear witness to past mistakes I have made,” he writes.
When he retired in 2015, Mr Marsh (surgeons in England are traditionally addressed as Mr or Ms rather than Dr) was a senior consultant at St George’s Hospital, London, where he worked at the Atkinson Morley Wing, one of the country’s largest specialist brain surgery units.
His specialty was operating on the brain under local anesthesia, while the patient remained awake, in order to minimize damage to neural structures ― a technique that was portrayed in an award-wining 2004 television documentary that broadcast as part of the BBC series, Your Life in Their Hands.
He was also featured in another documentary, The English Surgeon, which portrayed the pro bono work in Kiev, Ukraine, that he carried out for decades.
In Favor of Assisted Dying
In his latest book, Mr Marsh shares some thoughts on death with dignity, or physician-assisted dying, a topic very much in the news these days. Several American states now allow this, and the views of the medical profession have reached a turning point, as suggested in a special edition of JAMA last year.
In England, however, the Assisted Dying Bill was defeated in September 2015, and the vote was not even close, with 330 votes against and 180 votes for.
Mr Marsh was exasperated, and in an interview with the Sunday Times that accompanied an extract from his new book, he described the arguments from the anti-euthanasia group as being “grotesque.”
“They argue that grannies will be made to commit suicide,” he said. “Even if a few grannies get bullied into it, isn’t that the price worth praying for all the people who could die with dignity?”
READ MORE: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879187