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triple helix: summer 2005

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Michief at the BMA - ‘The greatest crime’

Delegates at the BMA annual representative meeting in Manchester on 30 June 2005 voted 58% to 42% against legalising euthanasia but 53% to 47% in favour of adopting a neutral position, reversing a policy of opposition that had stood for 173 years. The euthanasia motion was passed by 93 votes to...

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Saved sex - Getting increasing support

Contraception-focused sex education had an increasingly critical press this summer. In the UK, as latest figures showed the rate of pregnancies in under-16s in England and Wales increased by 1%, Beverley Hughes, the families and children's minister admitted that Government can do no more to reduce the UK's high teen...

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AIDS in Russia - Institutions are waking up to the churches' role

At a landmark conference in April,[1] a coalition of Christian churches, faith based organisations and UN bodies called upon Russian Society, government and the Christian community to respond to the escalating AIDS crisis in that country. Along with Ukraine and the Baltic Sates, Russia is seeing the most rapid growth...

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Scottish Assisted Suicide Bill - An opportunity to show that sanctity of life trumps autonomy

When the Scottish Parliament was re-established in 1999 (having been united to the UK parliament since 1707), the Scotland Act 1998 restored responsibility for all biomedical matters north of the border except in matters relating to abortion, xenotransplantation (but not transplantation), surrogacy arrangements, human fertilisation and embryology, human genetics and...

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The brain drain - A multilateral problem requiring a global response

As we approach the Millennium Summit this November, at which the world's leaders will look again at the progress being made towards the Millennium Development Goals, it is salient to remember that there are still many obstacles to seeing global poverty halved, major gains in reducing infant and maternal mortality...

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Going West - should Britain introduce physician-assisted suicide

‘Gone west’ is a quaint description of death - the setting sun ‘goes west’ and then sinks below the horizon and expires. The phrase may now acquire new meaning as some in Britain look to the US west coast state of Oregon and seek physician-assisted suicide (PAS) here. Lord Joffe’s 2004...

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Problem drinking – the bigger picture

Millions of us enjoy drinking alcohol with few, if any, ill effects. (Tony Blair, 2004) So begins the Prime Minister’s introduction to the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England (AHRSE).[1] After reminding us that moderate drinking can produce some health benefits, Mr Blair laments the fact that ‘alcohol misuse by...

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Dunstan, the embryo and Christian tradition

With the debate on cloning and embryo experimentation raging on, it is more important than ever to decide how we view early embryos. Should they be protected from destructive experimentation? Or would it be a waste not to make use of them? Christians have sometimes looked to the Early Church...

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Juniors’ forum – piggy in the middle

The scenario At times, life as a hospital junior can feel like a neverending game of piggy in the middle. It’s no picnic when you’re squashed – like the meat in a sandwich – between two large personalities with opposing priorities and opinions. You know what we’re talking about…The consultant who...

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David S Short - 6.8.1918 – 4.5.2005

On 4 May this year following a short terminal illness, the culmination of four months with the knowledge of acute leukaemia born with astonishing positivity and courage, David Short went to be with his master. His family, many friends and colleagues and the CMF lost a true friend, a wise...

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Imitating Christ in wisdom and courage

A striking feature of Jesus’ ministry is the wisdom he showed in responding to questions and in training his disciples. His example is highly relevant to us in our dual role as carers and trainers. Wise answers When asked difficult questions, Jesus not only answered shrewdly but invariably made capital out of...

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Children living with AIDS

Children living with HIV infection or AIDS-related illnesses themselves are amongst the most vulnerable of all children. They and their families experience enormous losses as well as stigma and prejudice, which may be felt in their communities, schools, and often, even in church and Sunday school. The latest estimate from UNAIDS...

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Making the most of flexible working

As a medical student I assumed that at some point in the future I would stop working in the NHS, leave the UK and serve God overseas for a period of time. Inspired by the example of others, I asked the familiar question, 'when should I go?' However, a new...

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A journey of joy

Beginnings EMFI (Evangelical Medical Fellowship of India) started up in 1971 when several UESI (Union of Evangelical Students of India) members became convinced of the need to form a fellowship for students graduating from medical and dental schools. This movement was known as ‘Medical Auxiliary of UESI, till 1974. One of...

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Eutychus

‘Spirituality’ is escapist, shallow and self-indulgent ‘The great religions are more than spirituality. They pose the question: how do we translate our private experiences into the public world we share and make? How do we turn our intimations of eternity into a more gracious order of acts, relationships and institutions? How...

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Links Manual (Book Review)

A recent article in BMJ Careers highlighted the launch of NHS Links (careerfocus.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/330/7488/78). Set up in collaboration with THET, it aims to establish a network of doctors and health professionals involved in a variety of health links between NHS Trusts and health centres in less developed countries. It aims to...

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What can I Do? (Book Review)

An ordained minister in the Church of Uganda, Canon Gideon Byamugisha discovered in the early nineties that he was HIV positive after his wife suddenly died of an AIDS related illness. Coping with grief and shock, he found a calling to challenge the church and society in its response to...

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Obituaries

We report the deaths of the following Christian doctors, give thanks for their lives and offer sympathy to their families: Winifred Anderson (q Glasgow 1929; d 26 March 2005) was a missionary doctor in India and Nepal. She arrived in India in 1932 and worked as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in...

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Bow down and worship or stand up and sing?

'Words mean what I want them to mean,' says Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. He is not alone. Today's teenagers, for example, use 'cool, 'random' and 'wicked' in ways puzzling to their elders. Christians, too, can alter a good word's meaning. Our Lord Jesus came amongst us...

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