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triple helix: spring 2006

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Assisted dying - Putting Christian arguments in secular language

As Christian doctors we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide because we believe in the sanctity of human life made in the image of God. Also we recognise that far from being helpful, assisted dying may be the greatest disservice we can offer, by propelling people forward to a judgement for...

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The Joffe Bill - It's only the beginning

Lord Joffe's revised Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill[1] has its second reading the House of Lords (debate but no vote) on Friday 12 May. The Bill has taken on only four of the Lords'Select Committee's ten recommendations[2] and seeks to enable 'an adult who has capacity and who...

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RU486 - Moves for abortions at home

The last twelve months have seen moves to further promote the designer abortion drug RU486 around the world. Otherwise known as the antiprogesterone mifepristone, it was specifically developed as an abortifacient by French pharmaceutical firm Roussel-Uclaf (hence the letters RU) in the 1980s; in Britain it has been licensed for...

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Objecting to conscientious objectors

'What are the editors of a once fine journal of medical knowledge doing, to let such an opinion piece be published?'asks one reader.[1] Another despairs that,'After 30 years of reading the BMJ, Savulescu's article was the first to make me feel physically sick'.[2] The cause of the avalanche of protest...

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Medical Corruption: A new global health threat?

A recent report suggests that worldwide, some 5% of all spending on healthcare (£850 million a year) is being lost through corruption.[1] This includes: Public health budgets being subverted by unethical officials for private use Hospitals functioning as self-service stores for illicit enrichment, with unclear procurement of equipment and...

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Do what ONLY you can do

You sit at work all day, listening to never ending medical problems, and trying to find solutions. Then you go home and different family situations compete for your attention. And then, on top of this, seemingly endless good causes suck up your precious spare time! Stop and think. Not everything...

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Empowering communities to CARE - faith based groups can have a unique role

Community based health care (CBHC) is now a dominant theme in cutting edge literature on global health. Started by the earliest communities on earth, it was modelled by Jesus Christ and formulated in the Alma Ata Charter of 1978.Without CBHC, there will be no effective health services in the poorest...

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Sick soap syndrome

Recently I turned on the television to see a baby dying under a surgeon's knife. It wasn't a horror film, nor a medical soap like Holby City. It was a reality TV docudrama following the separation of conjoined twins. A live death In 2004, Egyptian baby Manar Maged was born...

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Are the majority of UK abortions Illegal?

Key points 95% of abortions are authorised under Ground C of the 1967 Abortion Act; which requires the risk to a mother's mental or physical health from abortion to be less than that from normal pregnancy. However maternal death from suicide, murder, accidents and natural causes is higher following abortion...

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Fit for purpose - is ECT useful or should it be banned?

Key points Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) has received adverse publicity in film, the media and from the antipsychiatry movement. However, randomised controlled trials and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) support its use in depression, catatonia and for severe manic episodes. Most patients support its use, side effects (headache and transient...

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NaPro Technology

Key points NaPro Technology is a new women's health science that works co-operatively with individual women's ovarian cycles, with the aim of enhancing fertility. Blood tests and documentation of a woman's ovulation signs are the main stays of the technology, along with appropriately timed intercourse. Drugs – such as hCG...

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Juniors' Forum - Four-hour target

About to breach Verona Beckles advocates prayer, planning, prioritising and, if necessary, politics 'It's just that she's about to breach!'How many times have you heard that line down the phone? Recently, during a week of days on call, I planned to count the number of times this familiar phrase came...

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The Invitation

One of the best things about working in the same practice for many years is the fact that some of your patients become your friends. Conversely, people you originally knew as fellow neighbours and churchgoers eventually turn up in your consulting room. This presents interesting challenges to the traditional doctor-patient...

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Eutychus

Legal challenge on Christ's existence An Italian court has decided, after a long drawn out legal battle, that Catholic priest Enrico Righi will not have to prove in court Christ's historical existence. The priest was taken to court in September 2002 after he criticised Luido Cascioli's atheist book The...

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Doctors as Patients (Book Review)

This is a courageous and overdue book written by doctors with mental illness. All look back over their illnesses and describe their experiences with remarkable honesty and clarity. Following diagnosis and treatment, most of them continue to practice, some with knowledge of the cyclical nature of the illness with which...

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I'm Still Standing - Parenting a child with a life threatening illness (Book Review)

This book offers unusual insights into what it means to have a child whose life-threatening illness has abated but has not necessarily gone for good. In this it is an unexpected addition to the many other books available that deal with terminal illness in childhood, or the long term care...

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The Soul of the Embryo (Book Review)

The Soul of the Embryo begins by considering the account of creation in the Hebrew Scriptures. It then considers the largely mistaken but nevertheless influential foundations of Western thinking about embryology as laid down by Hippocrates and Aristotle. The widespread and approved practices of abortion and infanticide in ancient Greek...

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The Wilberforce Connection (Book Review)

A culture of gross drunkenness and violence, a civic life with rising crime and corruption, a society marred by social dislocation and sexual immorality, a church confused, divided and ineffectual – this is 21st century Britain – but also a picture of late 18th century Georgian England, where a small...

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Transformation

It doesn't take much to transform some situations. A simple slip on the wet grass - my leg broke and immediately life took on a new perspective, as even the simplest of tasks became a major exercise. Now, as I sit recovering at my bedroom window, I see another scene...

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