Do No Harm: A Novel
Date Published: March 20, 2013
Number of Pages: 235
Print Price: $13.47
eBook Price: $11.37
He was trained to save lives, but doing his job could cost him everything.
Do No Harm by Fiorella de Maria Nash was a more thought-provoking read than I thought it would be. The author tackles the controversial issue of living wills and what happens when one is broken.
Like all medical professionals, Dr. Matthew Kimble took an oath to save lives and do no harm. When an attempted suicide victim enters the hospital on his shift, Dr. Kimble does what he does every day – he attempts to save her life. What’s different this time is that the patient, Daisy, has a living will indicating she wants no medical help.
Believing that in her current state Daisy cannot make the choice for herself, Dr. Kimble makes it for he and thus is charged with assault and battery. Dr. Kimble finds himself thrust into a legal battle that could cause him to lose his medical license for good.
The author takes the reader on a journey through a doctor’s dilemma: should he follow a legal document or the oath he took in medical school to do no harm? Following the living will and leaving Daisy to die not only goes against that oath, but against Dr. Kimble’s personal beliefs as well. The minute I started reading Do No Harm, I had a hard time putting it down. The author does a good job of making readers wonder what they would do in a similar situation.
It’s never easy to write about controversial issues and Nash does a beautiful job weaving in facts and making her characters believable in this situation.
However, the lack of character point of view is this novel’s greatest flaw. The story is told through several characters’ viewpoints and jumps from one to another, often in the same paragraph. Sometimes there is no character point of view at all. Dr. Kimble’s situation is such an interesting one that I found myself wishing the author would stay with his point of view instead of switching to those of other characters who were not as interesting.
Despite its flaws, this is a story worth reading and one that stays with you long after you read the last page.
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
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