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triple helix: summer 2004

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Gender Recognition Bill - Compassion and honesty are both required

The Gender Recognition Bill has completed its Parliamentary process and will become law next year. Under its provisions a Gender Recognition Panel will have responsibility for issuing new birth certificates for transsexual people. The Bill proposes a potential legal threat to churches, Christian organisations and sports clubs who may be...

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Mental Capacity Bill - A potential back door to euthanasia

The long awaited Mental Incapacity Bill, now repackaged as the Mental Capacity Bill, was finally published on 18 June, and is to be accompanied by a Code of Practice that is still being developed. It seeks to provide for decision-making on behalf of people with mental incapacity and is the...

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US contraception furore - Despite the hype, abstinence works

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists called it 'morally repugnant'. In an editorial the New York Times called it 'politically motivated'. The BMJ couldn't say a word in its favour. The USA's Food and Drug Administration's refusal to permit sales over the counter (without a prescription) of an emergency...

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Reaching out at work

In medicine we use statistics to research the effectiveness of any ‘treatment’. Let me offer a statistic from my experience of evangelism. For every eight patients I invite onto our church Alpha courses, two come and one becomes a Christian. Over the past four years, in excess of 60 patients...

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Making Christ known

A medical student thinking through his career options told me recently, 'The overriding need in this world is for people to hear the gospel; therefore the only thing worth doing with my life, if I am able, is to become an ordained minister.' For me this begs important questions, for...

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Marriage and Health

In a recent morning surgery family breakdown was a significant factor in five of six depressed patients, one of six with physical problems, one of two for medication review and two DNAs. How different the morning could have been had relationships been intact, and how many more quality points I...

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A word in season

With healthcare issues in the news almost every day, it's vital that the voices of Christians in the medical profession are heard in public debate. Some Christians have a natural aptitude for working with the media. For most of us, however, some basic training can make a huge difference to...

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Looking for a miracle

Not long ago I heard the story of a woman whose teenage daughter was severely disabled with cerebral palsy. For several agonising years, the mother prayed that God would work a miracle and heal her daughter. Nothing happened. Then, a friend and two other Christians approached the mother. 'God gave...

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Reiki

Reiki appears to be a relatively new form of an ancient Buddhist healing practice, characterised by the laying on of hands. An early survey by the Consumers’ Association in 1995 found that around five percent of alternative therapy users consulted spiritual healers including Reiki therapists, a relatively small market share....

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Head to head - Should Christian doctors clerk patients for terminations?

'Yes!' Rebecca Brain is a part-time CMF staffworker and GP trainer I hate everything about abortion. I hate the way it's so often presented to young women as the right thing to do. I hate the way it encourages promiscuity and irresponsible sexual behaviour. I hate seeing a woman who...

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how I'd handle it - Nightmare SHO

Elizabeth Croton explains how she would tackle this complex situation: Claire chose her first house job because she really clicked with the Christian consultant. Unfortunately, things have changed recently. The consultant has become part-time, now only covering outpatients; Claire no longer has regular contact with him. The new locum ward...

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Eutychus

Frozen embryos in the balance Natallie Evans has lost her case in the Court of Appeal to have her frozen embryos implanted without her partner’s consent. The 32-yearold Wiltshire woman, who became infertile after chemotherapy for cancer, had later split from Howard Johnston after the couple had undergone IVF treatment. Whilst fathers...

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Letters

Prescribing Methadone Methadone masks and never tackles root causes, argues Sophia Lamb, a pre-registration house officer from Ireland, who previously worked in Hong Kong among people with addiction problems. Recently I returned to the ward to discover that one of my drug addict patients had been resuscitated after taking a heroin overdose...

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For What it is Worth: the Status of the Human Embryo (Book Review)

When does human life begin? What or who is a human being? This concise booklet addresses these questions, which are fundamental to the biotechnology of human reproduction, including pre-natal and pre-implantation diagnosis, assisted reproduction, human embryo research and cloning. Five chapters examine 'The Beginning of Human Life' from different perspectives...

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Genetic Engineering – A Christian Response (Book Review)

This multi-author volume has three sections examining genetic engineering and society, the family and the individual. Each chapter can be read in isolation. Some general comments: The title is misleading – 'genetic engineering' implies the manipulation of genetic material but instead of considering all aspects of this (eg. the...

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Rethinking Peter Singer (Book Review)

Peter Singer is arguably the world's most famous contemporary philosopher. He is currently Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and well known for his support of abortion, euthanasia and infanticide. He has also been vocal about his opposition to 'speciesism' - the preference of human interests over those of other...

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Caring for Jewish Patients (Book Review)

An Orthodox Jewish man leaned out of a cubicle in casualty, pointed directly at me and bellowed, 'He can examine me!' As a clinical student who happened to be passing through, I felt rather bewildered when the frustrated casualty officer persuaded me to yield to this unexpected demand. The patient...

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Lessons in Depravity – Sex Education and the Sexual Revolution (Book Review)

The bulk of this book comprises a painstakingly detailed account of the sexual seduction of our society over the past two centuries by sexual revolutionaries from Robert Owen (1771-1858) to Gill Frances of the presentday National Children's Bureau. It is a valuable resource book for specialist readers, tracing not only...

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When God's word is extreme

Shortly after the 9/11 attackes on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York and Washington's Pentagon, an American publisher released a new Bible that it billed, 'The extreme Word of God for these extreme times.' ExtremeWord is a Bible aimed at teenagers. There's a flag on...

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