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triple helix: winter 2004

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Abortion for 'serious handicap' - An important case to win

On 1 December 2003 Joanna Jepson (right) was granted permission to launch a judicial review concerning a case of late abortion of a fetus diagnosed with cleft lip and palate. Miss Jepson originally approached the West Mercia police in October 2002, who declined to investigate the termination after obtaining a...

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HFEA ban on sex selection - The right decision for the wrong reason

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised the government to ban fertility clinics from using sex selection for non-medical reasons.[1] More than 80% of respondents to the HFEA consultation document Sex Selection: choice and responsibility in human reproduction were opposed to using sex selection techniques for anything other...

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Aromatherapy

Amongst the 150 or more alternative therapies available today, aromatherapy is high on the popularity list. There are over 6,000 aromatherapists in UK with varying amounts of training and experience.[1] Recently the Daily Telegraph reported that women were spending £670 million a year on various spiritual therapies; massage techniques such...

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The AIDS pandemic - Prevention is the cornerstone of an effective strategy

In spite of two decades of research and action against AIDS the global pandemic is accelerating. About 40 million people, including 2.5 million children, are now living worldwide with HIV, 95% in the developing world. Each year five million people are newly infected [1] and the annual death rate has...

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Bullying in the NHS

Wouldn't you think that, being such a grubby and cowardly business, bullying would quite ashamed to show its face? Yet it is alive and well, an integral part of NHS culture. It thrives on silence and secrecy but, brought out into the open, it looks altogether less frightening. Many people...

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Conscientious Contraception

A recent House of Commons inquiry declared the nation's sexual health to be in increasing crisis.[1] The committee made a number of recommendations: sex and relationship education as a core part of the national curriculum; prioritisation of contraceptive services; increased open access for terminations; performance management of primary care trusts...

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Does prayer work?

One of the biggest, multi-faith, prayer experiments ever devised has concluded that prayer made no significant difference to the outcomes of the cardiac patients involved. A pilot study had suggested that prayer could have a measurable effect on the outcome of patients who required angioplasty, a surgical procedure to unblock...

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Frozen embryos - The tip of a huge iceberg

Natallie Evans, 31, of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, who had her ovaries removed after being diagnosed with cancer, previously had six embryos created and frozen, before breaking up with her boyfriend Howard Johnston. Lorraine Hadley, 38, from Baswich, Staffordshire, who had a 17-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, had two embryos previously...

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How I'd Handle It! - Fasciculations

Dr Liz Walker - GP retainer in Farnborough and former CMF chairman - presents us with this sticky dilemma: Frank, a rather anxious 59 year old, consulted your partner with tiredness and difficulty in walking.He had bilateral leg fasciculation and minimal right foot weakness.Pressed for the 'worst case scenario', your...

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Head to head - Should we prescribe contraception for unmarried patients?

'Yes!' Peter May is a GP in Southampton There are those - mainly girls in their mid-teens - who come for contraceptive advice before embarking on a sexual relationship. If she has not been prescribed contraception before, I ask about her intentions. Mostly, she has made her mind up already....

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Eutychus

Cannabis downgraded Cannabis will be downgraded to a class C 'non-arrestable' drug on 29 January 2004. The House of Lords approved the move from Class B by 63 votes to 37 on 12 November 2003, putting cannabis in the same category as anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines and the 'date rape' drub GHB....

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The R Option (Book Review)

'This book reminds us that it is the quality of our relationships that, more than anything else, determines our happiness, fulfilment and the sense of a life well lived.' (Jonathan Sacks, Chief rabbi). Jonathan Sacks statement is powerful but counter-cultural one. As Schluter and Lee outline, our highly individualistic age...

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What Could I Do? A handbook for making hard choices (Book Review)

This book follows on from 'What Could I Say?' by the same author (Triple Helix 2003; Spring:19). While there is some overlap between the two books, 'What Could I Do?' shifts the emphasis to the hard choices we all face by seeking to offer biblical guidance on a variety of...

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Curing the heart - a model for biblical counseling (Book Review)

'Biblical Counseling' (sic) is greatly influenced by Jay Adams, founder of 'nouthetic' counseling, which has core principles of 'confrontation, concern and change'. The 'cure' in this model is not necessarily to reach a stage of 'feeling better' (p58), as 'the chief problem to be dealt with is a severed relationship...

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Prayers for healing: A Burrswood companion (Book Review)

After many years of experience at the Burrswood Christian Centre for Health Care and Ministry, the authors of this little book offer a series of morning meditations with relevant evening prayers to cover 31 days. As chaplain and doctor, their collaboration typifies the Burrswood aim for spiritual and medical care...

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Prayer Life. How your personality affects the way you pray (Book Review)

'I would like my readers to think of prayer without guilt...prayer should not be just one more burden in life, but a pleasure to enjoy' writes Pablo Martinez in his introduction. His book goes a long way towards meeting this aim. Combining his psychiatric training and experience as a pastor,...

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Letters

Prolife movement at the Crossroads Elizabeth McCullough, Family Planning Association (FPA) Policy Officer in Northern Ireland, takes exception to Greg Gardner's article 'Prolife movement at the crossroads' (Triple Helix 2002; Winter:14-15) The outcome of recommendations made in Greg Gardner's article would be to coerce women into motherhood which they have not...

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Death of a tea lady

When I was a general surgical registrar in Auckland, New Zealand the 'management era' was just beginning. Someone, who I expect had never worn greens and didn't know one end of a retractor from another, was examining the operating theatre budget in some office remote from the front line. About $15,000...

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