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triple helix: spring 2004

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Korean clones - Unsafe, unnecessary and unethical

The February announcement[1] that South Korean Scientists had cloned 30 human embryos generated the media frenzy and overhyped predictions we have come to expect in this area of research. But the true facts were less impressive. The team at Seoul National University used 242 eggs from 16 women donors; from...

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The Joffe Bill returns - Still a Trojan horse for euthanasia

Lord Joffe's Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill,[1] which seeks to legalise Dutchstyle euthanasia in the UK, has returned, after running out of time last parliamentary session. Skilfully reworked and renamed the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill,[2] it passed its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 March...

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Choosing health? - Christian doctors need to respond

The government has launched a new consultation on 'action to improve patients' health', which will feed into the production of a new White Paper this summer. Choosing health?[1]builds on government advisor Derek Wanless' new report Securing Good Health for the Whole Population[2] and seeks feedback from groups and individuals on...

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Imitating Christ in Healthcare

Instructions are useful, but examples are more effective. Today's healthcare workers very much need good role models. Oh, for another Florence Nightingale, a Thomas Barnardo or a Mother Teresa. Well, where did their inspiration come from? None other than Jesus Christ. I suggest there can be no greater role model...

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Serving the master - Obituaries

John Alford John joined the staff of CMF as Office Manager in 1990 at the time of the liberation of Eastern Europe and the break up of the Soviet Union. Throughout the 1990’s, the growth of Christian medical groups worldwide was phenomenal, as doctors and medical students came to faith in...

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Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the most popular alternative therapies. It can be described most simply as the insertion of needles into the skin at specific points in order to treat disease or promote good health. Used in many NHS practices, particularly pain clinics, acupuncture is acquiring increasing respectability. A UK regulatory...

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MMR and Autism – muddled medical reasoning

It is more than six years since the Lancet published Dr Wakefield's paper describing a new syndrome of bowel disease and autism in MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccinated children.[1] Almost none of the subsequent research has found any evidence to support this causal link. Yet the controversy rages on. Rather than living...

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Female Genital Mutilation

A young woman in her late twenties presented at Kapsowar Hospital, Kenya with a vesico-vaginal fistula. For four years she had been a social outcast, rejected by her husband and village because of the 'shame' of her condition. Further enquiry uncovered a history of female genital mutilation in childhood which...

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Child Protection

In the field of child protection, the pendulum of public, and perhaps more importantly, media opinion seems to be swaying uncontrollably, and consequently quite dangerously, at the moment. A year ago, Lord Laming published his inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie.[1] Lord Laming highlighted the seriousness of the extreme...

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Living with Spiritual Tiredness

Most health professionals know all about tiredness. Long hours and the demands of the job leave all of us exhausted. Here I want to address the issue of spiritual tiredness. Spiritual tiredness is a form of exhaustion in our soul, in our innermost being. Spiritual tiredness is not helped by...

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Relax in-to disaster …and see what God will do

Recently I undertook a round trip of several hundred miles to renew various neglected but inspiring friendships. I found a friend’s motto ‘relax in-to disaster’ an enormous source of illumination as I travelled and talked. My friend had had to give up nursing after an adverse reaction to a yellow fever...

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how i'd handle it! - Mistaken gender identity

James Tomlinson and Kevin Vaughan explain how they would tackle this complex situation 'I want a sex change.' John, a homosexual man in his forties, feels bad about himself.You have been treating his depression for nine months with antidepressants.Today he is armed with documentation outlining your primary care trust's sex...

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Head to Head - Should we prescribe methadone for drug addicts?

'Yes!' John Latham is a GP trainer in inner-city Dublin Heroin addiction is a chronic disease with associated morbidity and mortality as well as forensic, public health and social consequences. Methadone has been increasingly used since Dole and Nyswander's original trial in 1965.[1] Its half-life is far longer than that...

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Eutychus

Smacking ban MPs are to vote on whether or not to ban smacking. A proposed amendment to the Children’s Bill, which has its second reading in the House of Lords later this year, would remove the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ and ban the corporal punishment of children by their parents, except...

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Survival Skills for Doctors and their Families (Book Review)

Ironically, the only way that I could find time to a review this book was to take it on holiday, a holiday already marred by planning uncertainties at my NHS work which were going to affect me as soon as I returned. So I sat on my hotel balcony and...

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Being Me – what it means to be human (Book Review)

'What does it mean to be human?' is a question that has been asked throughout the ages, and definitions are difficult to find. As Pete Moore recognises, 'Any approach to define who I am is doomed from the outset because we will always be more complex than can be catered...

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Johnny Head-In-Air. Memoirs of a Doctor-Journalist (Book Review)

Ron Winton, now in his 90th year, was a distinguished editor of the Medical Journal of Australia from 1957 to 1977. This gave him the ideal platform for combining his medical training and his love of literature. Every aspect of his life was under girded by his sturdy Christian faith...

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Healing the Culture: a commonsense philosophy of happiness, freedom and the life issues (Book Review)

Those with a materialistic and utilitarian outlook have already demeaned personhood by liberalising life-protecting laws. The writers attribute this to acceptance of the lowest of four possible 'Levels of Happiness'. Although they do not say so, these levels mirror the sequence of conceptual maturation in children. As with infants, Level...

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Journey to Eden (Book Review)

Why is this gripping tale of Le Carre style espionage spiced with science fiction being reviewed in Triple Helix? The answer is that Journey to Eden is a tender story of Christian testimony and also embodies Richard Porter's fascinating hypothesis that reawakens the creation / evolution debate. As a novel...

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Letters

Frozen Embryos Dave Stevens, CEO of our US sister organisation CMDA, reports on an exciting initiative. It was interesting to read about excess frozen embryos in the UK in your recent review (Triple Helix 2004; Winter:12-13). We face a similar situation in the US with an estimated 400,000 human embryos in storage,...

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Guard your Heart

Mummy, who attacked Grandad’s heart?’ My seven-year-old granddaughter was worried when she heard that I had suffered a heart attack. Who indeed? I was a fit non-smoker with no previous ill health. Could it be due to stress, the subtle demon that seems to lie behind so many of today’s...

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