We are familiar with the Hippocratic Oath's famous line: 'Do no harm'. Fewer know perhaps the more important line: 'Above all I must not play at God'. But with lifespans increasing long past the point the point of comfort, it is not unusual for treatments to cause more suffering then the disease itself. And with mental anguish commonly falling behind physical health, some argue that doctors have forgotten the promises they made at med school.
Should doctors recognise that they are sacrificing wellbeing in the name of longevity, and pledge to return to the original values of Do No Harm? Or is this a dangerous and misguided strategy that threatens life and the well being of us all?
Leading neurosurgeon and author of Do No Harm Henry Marsh, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying Sarah Wootton, and Executive Director of Humanity+ Natasha Vita-More debate the role of the modern doctor in For Your Own Good.