Wednesday, November 13, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: DO NO HARM a novel by Fiorella de Maria Nash

Book Review by Fr. John I Fleming,
I have just finished reading Fiorella de Maria Nash's book, "Do no Harm". This is what I think of it.
In a world which has lost its moral compass, a doctor elects to save the life of woman attempting suicide. He is arrested and charged with assault and battery. His entire life and career hangs in the balance.
In this novel Fiorella de Maria Nash takes the reader through the exquisite dilemma of a doctor having to deal with the new legal situation created by legally enforceable living wills. Set against the background of a complacent society, a complacency shared by Catholic bishops, parliamentarians, and the mass media, Nash explores all of the problems which occur when medical ethics based on Hippocrates conflicts with what appears to be the legal requirements of the state.

The novel is superbly written in impeccable English, yet with a universal appeal to include those who speak other variations to this wonderful language. Nash employs all of the skills of the language, and her excellent grasp of bioethics (medical ethics) to tell us a wonderful story involving real human beings in deeply distressing circumstances which are at once believable and disturbing.

This book should appeal to everyone, and has particular relevance for those who love a good story dealing with real issues in the complex area of how medicine should be practised by a conscientious physician. I commend this book. It will make an excellent birthday or Christmas gift.