SAN FRANCISCO, April 11, 2013 – A riveting new novel by award winning author Fiorella de Maria, entitled Do No Harm (also available in electronic book format) tackles
the controversial subject of assisted suicide. The story opens when a
British emergency room doctor saves the life a woman who apparently
attempted suicide. For saving her life, he is accused of committing a
crime and stands trial. Not only is Dr. Matthew Kemble’s medical
practice at risk, but also his liberty. If he is found guilty of
trespassing on a woman’s right to die, he could go to jail.
The novel Do No Harm exposes the dangers faced by conscientious doctors in Britain. Dr. Kemble’s decision to treat a patient in defiance of her Living Will pits him against English Law, public opinion and his own profession. The legal and personal battles he faces raise many questions about the role of the physician in the modern world, contemporary beliefs about autonomy and human rights, and the increasingly bitter clash of values in twenty-first century Britain, as well as doctors in many countries in the Western world.
Set in and around London, the story explores the interrelated stories of a physician facing ruin and imprisonment at the height of his career, his old friend and doggedly determined lawyer, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Maria, a passionate, dedicated but intensely lonely young campaigner who while working for the defense proves incapable of staying out of trouble herself.
Michael D. O’Brien, author of Father Elijah, calls Do No Harm “a gripping drama of ordinary human beings caught in a web of ethical confusions and moral complexities. It presents to us the razor’s edge of conscience in an age dominated by relativism: What can people of good will do when faced with layers of evil in contemporary society, evils that present themselves as rational, legal, even ‘moral’? How do they save life and bring hope to the hopeless – to do no harm, according to the Hippocratic Oath? This novel is a biopsy of the sickness of late Western society, and more importantly a sign that we are not abandoned in the midst of it, and that good can triumph against all odds.”
Author Fiorella de Maria explains why she chose to write about this controversial topic, “I wanted to expose the vulnerability of medical professionals in Britain whose allegiance to the tenets of the Hippocratic Oath bring them into conflict with the law. The reluctantly heroic Matthew Kemble and the firebrand campaigner determined to defend him are in many ways prophets unwelcome in their own country who – in spite of their vastly different personalities – represent the conviction, decency and isolation of those determined to stand for the truth in modern Britain.”
About the Author:
Fiorella de Maria was born in Italy of Maltese parents. She grew up in Wiltshire, England, and attended Cambridge, where she received a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Renaissance Literature, specializing in the English verse of Robert Southwell, S.J. She lives in Surrey with her husband and her three children. She won the National Book Prize of Malta (foreign language fiction category) for her novel The Cassandra Curse. Her first novel with Ignatius Press, Poor Banished Children, was released in 2011.
To request a review copy or an interview about this book with author Fiorella de Maria, please contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press, (239) 867-4180 or [email protected]
Title: DO NO HARM: A Novel
Author: Fiorella de Maria
Release Date: March 2013
Length: 233 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58617-724-9 • Sewn Hardcover
Order: 1-800-651-1531 • www.ignatius.com