The English Surgeon

2007, Health  -  93 min Leave a Comment
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Henry Thomas Marsh, (born 1950) is a leading British neurosurgeon and a pioneer of neurosurgical advances in Ukraine.

Marsh originally read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, achieving First Class Honours, before graduating with Honours in Medicine from London University. He is now the senior consultant neurosurgeon at the Atkinson Morley Wing at St George's Hospital, one of the country's largest specialist brain surgery units.

He specialises in operating on the brain under local anaesthetic and was the subject of a major BBC documentary Your Life in Their Hands in 2004, which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal. He has been working with neurosurgeons in the former Soviet Union, mainly in Ukraine, since 1992 and his work there was the subject of the recent award-winning BBC Storyville film The English Surgeon. Marsh was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

What is it like to have God-like surgical powers, yet to struggle against your own humanity? What is it like to try and save a life, and yet to fail? This film follows brain surgeon Henry Marsh as he openly confronts the dilemmas of the doctor-patient relationship on his latest mission to Ukraine.

Driven by the need to help others where he can, Henry has been going out to Kyiv for over 15 years to help improve upon the medieval brain surgery he witnessed there during his first visit in 1992. Today the patients see him as the great saviour from the West, desperate parents want him to save their child, and his Ukrainian colleague Igor Kurilets sees him as a guru and a benefactor.

Directed by: Geoffrey Smith