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triple helix: autumn 2005

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Criminalising Christian behaviour - legally enforced political correctness

The first involves Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill (p4), which requires doctors who are not willing to authorise euthanasia to refer to other doctors who are; a move most Christian doctors would view as complicity in intentional killing. The second involves the Racial and Religious Hatred...

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Doctors’ opinions on euthanasia - Leaders with extreme views have hijacked the voice of the profession

Britain is teetering on the brink of legalising physician assisted suicide (PAS) and possibly also euthanasia as the result of a powerful campaign by proeuthanasia factions to change the opinion of the public, media, politicians and (perhaps most significantly) doctors. Following the House of Lords debate on 10 October on...

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Making Poverty History - was anything really achieved in 2005?

At the start of the year, who would have believed that a meeting of world leaders at a Scottish golf resort would inspire the largest popular music event the world has yet seen, or that Africa would be big news in the media? UN summits, meetings of the World Bank...

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The Millennium Development Goals - attempted hijack by pro-abortion groups

To many observers the Millennium Summit at the United Nations this September was a farcical waste of time in terms of fighting global poverty and seeing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) properly supported.[1] Governments and NGOs, all fighting their own corner, effectively hamstrung efforts to fight poverty. One of these...

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More clever things with embryos? - Parthenogenesis and the HFEA review

The tabloid headline 'Virgin conception first for UK' [1] entered the public consciousness in early September; but the newest 'HFEA-approved' development in embryo research described was simply the next logical step following on from recommendations made by the Warnock Committee in 1984 and subsequently given statutory force in the 1990...

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Late abortion - A window of opportunity?

The launch of the Alive and Kicking campaign [1] at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton on 26 September brought together a growing alliance of human rights groups formed in response to mounting evidence of growing public support for changes in UK abortion legislation. In a public poll carried out...

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Conscientious objection to abortion - ethics, polemic and law

The pro-abortion lobby has announced the latest phase in its offensive. Marie Stopes International wants to force GP surgeries to display lists indicating which doctors in the practice will refer women for abortion, and the pressure group Doctors for a Woman's Choice on Abortion is encouraging patients to report to...

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Transforming communities - Rendle Short Lecture 2005

The Hindu religion has about six hundred and forty million gods. I come from a Hindu family and as a child my grandmother took me to the temple every day. I would have to bow my head before many of those gods painted all over the walls.Yet I knew there...

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Medical unemployment and the brain drain

The issues surrounding medical unemployment have been rehearsed endlessly in the Christian and secular medical press.[1,2] Our UK graduates have become articulate as they contemplate unemployment at the start of the two year Foundation Programme. Meanwhile the UK, with one of the highest dependencies on overseas graduates compared to other...

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The prayer life of a doctor

Doctors are not alone in leading busy lives. Jesus was busy but still took time to draw close to the Father in prayer, responsive to his word.We must do the same. Prayer has been described as the breath of the soul .We breathe in (are inspired) by the Spirit, God’s pneuma...

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The Leslie Burke debacle - Fixing what ain't bust

Litigation is a terribly dangerous business. The Leslie Burke debacle [1] is a sad illustration. It has provided some splendid headlines for the pro-euthanasia lobby and ripped away one of the main legal safeguards against irresponsible end-of-life decision-making by doctors. Leslie Burke has cerebellar ataxia. He will ultimately need artificial...

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Religious Hatred Law

For the third time since coming to power the Government is seeking to pass a law against stirring up religious hatred. It is, in my view, a blasphemy law for all religions in all but name and, as a result, risks seriously limiting the freedom of Christians to criticise the...

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Juniors' forum - Time for change

Working with CMF Dr Rachael Pickering looks at how some doctors are using flexible working patterns to work with CMF CMF's student ministry is vitally supported by an able and willing team of staffworkers and relay workers. Each staffworker covers a few medical schools in one geographical region, and...

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Eutychus

Sperm surgery Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) could become a more successful fertility treatment with the introduction of a new technique. The present procedure gives men with low sperm counts the chance of fatherhood, but there are concerns that the introduction of the acrosome (which covers the head of the sperm) into...

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Trust me – I'm a cancer patient (Book Review)

I found this book by Wesley Finegan, a Christian doctor and a cancer patient, immensely helpful. At the end of a busy clinical day I sat down with the book and reflected on the different situations I had encountered, what I had hoped to impart in information, support and advice...

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Being a cancer patient's carer - a guide (Book Review)

Winner of the 'First Edition Medical Books for the General Reader' category at 'The Society of Authors and The Royal Society of Medicine Books Award 2005' This book is written by a Christian doctor for the benefit of those who find themselves caring for someone who is suffering from cancer,...

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Perfecting ourselves to death - The pursuit of excellence and the perils of perfectionism

Richard Winter is a psychiatrist and theologian who says one of the reasons why people are unsatisfied with life is because society is preoccupied with airbrushed and computer enhanced features, perfect bodies, perfect homes, designer babies. He says that people can be grouped into 1) non-perfectionists 2) healthy perfectionists and...

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Practice by the book - A Christian doctor’s guide to living and serving

Does being a Christian make a difference to our medical practice? Probably most of us would like to answer ‘yes’, but if we take an honest look at ourselves and the other doctors around us, we may have some doubts. We may feel caught up in something bigger than ourselves,...

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Obituaries

Gwen Barton (q Royal Free 1940; d 29 June 2005) Gwen’s early career was in the pathology laboratory at the Royal Free Hospital, which was evacuated to Arlesey, Beds, during the Blitz. Here she met her future husband Major (later Lieut-Col) Cecil Barton, and they were married in 1943. The couple...

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Physician heal yourself

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor…’ (Isaiah 61:1) There’s nothing like the buzz when someone who grew up in a village comes back to home to preach. I remember such an experience over 30 years ago and...

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