Henry Marsh: ‘The mind-matter problem is not a problem for me – mind is matter’

Henry Marsh: ‘The mind-matter problem is not a problem for me – mind is matter’

Henry Marsh: ‘The mind-matter problem is not a problem for me – mind is matter’ 150 150 icnagency

By: Tim Adams | Henry Marsh: ‘The mind-matter problem is not a problem for me – mind is matter’ | Neuroscience | The Guardian

The celebrated neurosurgeon and writer talks about 40 years inside our skulls, what’s wrong with the NHS – and the Zen of woodwork

Henry Marsh made the decision to become a neurosurgeon after he had witnessed his three-month-old son survive the complex removal of a brain tumour. For two decades he was the senior consultant in the Atkinson Morley wing at St George’s hospital in London, one of the country’s largest specialist brain surgery units. He pioneered techniques in operating on the brain under local anaesthetic and was the subject of the BBC documentary Your Life in Their Hands. His first book, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery, was published in 2014 to great acclaim, and became a bestseller across the world. Marsh retired from full-time work at St George’s in 2015, though he continues with long-standing surgical roles at hospitals in the Ukraine and Nepal. He is also an avid carpenter. Earlier this year he published a second volume of memoir, Admissions: a Life in Brain Surgery, in which he looks back on his career as he takes up a “retirement project” of renovating a decrepit lock-keeper’s cottage near where he grew up in Oxfordshire. He lives with his second wife, the social anthropologist and author Kate Fox. They have homes in Oxford, and in south London, which is where the following conversation took place.

Have you officially retired now?
Well, I still do one day a week for the NHS, though apparently they want a “business case” for it, so I’m not getting paid at present.

Related: Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh – review

It does seem to me increasingly that the two markers of a civilised society are bicycles and doctor-assisted suicide

Continue reading…

icn-neurocience

Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world’s leading liberal voice
Back to top