This is a ‘story’ book about medicine, body, mind, doctors and caprices of human nature written by an experienced doctor (Martin Scurr), who has seen every untidy vagary of disease, and a psychotherapist (Jane Haynes), who has listened to personal narratives that rival the visceral emotions of King Lear. Doctors – who at their most profound are mercurial messengers between life and death, and who at a more comedic level must suffer our jiggling body parts – are also vulnerable men and women struggling to make sense of their existence. They are the only people other than our lovers to whom as adults we grant voluntary access to our naked bodies. The degree of such intimacy is emphasised by the concern of all medical ethics which promises that we will not be taken advantage of should we fall ill and become infantilised. As the Hippocratic oath instructs, ‘First do no harm.’ In Doctors Dissected Haynes and Scurr steal behind cultural issues into the heartlands of doctors who are drawn to a life in medicine, and conduct an autopsy as to the consequences of choosing a profession in which the practitioner is constantly being faced with lonely decisions that very often are a matter of life and death.
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