Phyllis In the ancient Greek Hippocratic Oath (for physicians) there was a line about not cutting for stone (gall stone, kidney stone, etc) because of the danger to the patient. In the era, there was no anesthesia, etc. However, the book's title CUTTING FOR STONE may indicate the danger and risk inherent in familiar love. The surgeon in the book is a Doctor Stone and his two estranged sons become doctors.
Renee When women would come to see Shiva for treatment, Cutting for Stone was often the note attached to them. Don't want to give any more away to spoil...
Kim I first interpreted the title as Ghosh cutting for (replacing) Stone, who flees from his duties at Missing Hospital. But when I read the Acknowledgements, I understood that Verghese intended a pun on the surname Stone and what Phylllis writes about the Hippocratic Oath. But like Linda, I find that the title "bugs me" -- I want to understand how it unlocks a central meaning of the novel, but can't quite get that key to work!
Kris Taylor It's a beautiful play on words. In many ways the reason Marion becomes a surgeon is an effort to connect with his father, Dr. Stone. Hence, as surgeons, they are "Cutting" for their father, Dr. Stone