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triple helix: Summer 2003

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Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill - A dangerous document that Christian doctors should oppose

A new Bill attempting to legalise Dutch-style euthanasia throughout Britain is making its way through the House of Lords. Lord Joffe's Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill[1] passed its second reading on 6 June without a vote, and now goes to the committee stage, where it can be amended and revised before...

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The Sexual Health Enquiry - Good on diagnosis but offers an ineffective Prescription

On Wednesday 11 June 2003 the much leaked in advance House of Commons Health Committee Report on Sexual Health[1] was published. Having been one of just two GPs who gave oral evidence to the Committee, I was not surprised at its findings. David Hinchliffe the Labour chair of the committee...

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Designer babies

Two controversial designer baby cases have recently aroused public controversy. Peter Saunders asks how far we should allow the new gene technology take us. On Tuesday 8 April the Court of Appeal gave the goahead for the Hashmi family to have a child by in vitro fertilisation in order to...

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Homeopathy

George Smith continues his series with a look at this widely used alternative medicine Homeopathy is one of the most popular and controversial of the plethora of alternative therapies available within and without the NHS. The word homeopathy is derived from two Greek words, homoios meaning 'like' and patheia...

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The United Nations Population Fund

Clare Cooper looks at an agency in crisis Isaiah tells us that God 'tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms…he gently leads those that have young'.[1] Sadly, humankind does not always follow God's example. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is one of the...

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How to heal the culture

Camille De Blasi looks at the reasons for the Western world's cultural demise There's little doubt that Western culture is starving to death. In ten years of professional pro-life education, I have observed large numbers of young people who think the elderly have a duty to die, elderly people who...

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Keeping Lists

I couldn't do without 'to do' lists. Recently, I read an interesting list for growing older! Written by a Harvard medical school professor, 'Aging Well - Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life' suggests the following: don't smoke adopt an adaptive coping style avoid alcohol abuse maintain a healthy weight keep...

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When do contraceptives work?

Family planning professor John Guillebaud brings an update on the options available for contraception and the scientific facts on how and when they actually do their work Most Christian doctors have reached a personal opinion on when life starts and are unwilling to prescribe a drug or device that acts...

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Beating Depression

One of the glories of God's Word is that it speaks of human experience just as vividly now as when first written. For a detailed account of the vicissitudes of old age look no further than Ecclesiastes 12:1-7, which describe fading eyesight, poor dentition, tremor and fear of falling. Or...

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Meeting God in hospital

As we talked about her three year old son's impending operation, it became clear that this mother was full of irrational fears. I tried, but failed, to reassure her that the procedure would be very straightforward. 'Lord,' I prayed silently, 'This mum is so anxious, please help me find the...

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Spirituality and health

Patients entering hospital experience a variety of emotions and utilise differing coping mechanisms to help them. One such mechanism is the presence of a personal religious faith.[1] Increasingly, it is recognised that faith and hope are valuable adjuncts to the healing process.[2,3] Yet there has not been much research on...

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Eutychus

New Genetics White Paper A new government white paper suggests that all newborn babies could in future be screened for a full genetic profile, which would form part of their medical records. Health Secretary John Reid said that the government's vision was 'for the NHS to lead the world in taking...

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Letters

The Morning-After Pill Hilary Cooling, who practises and teaches family practice in Bristol, takes issue with Phil Howard In his article 'The morning-after pill - how does it really work?' (Triple Helix 2002; Autumn: 8-9) Phil Howard confuses the terms 'post-fertilisation' and 'postimplantation', and uses complex arguments of extrapolation to arrive at...

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Doctors and Patients: an anthology (Book Review)

Analysis of the current trend in narrative-based medicine reveals, as the writer of Ecclesiastes indicated, that there is nothing new under the sun. The increasing number of books and articles on the role of narrative and the use of the arts in medicine is rooted in history and not in...

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Culture of Life - Culture of Death (Book Review)

This book consists of 22 papers by historians, legal and political theorists, medical practitioners, pastors, philosophers and theologians, delivered at the International Conference on 'The Great Jubilee and the Culture of Life' held at Queen's College, Cambridge in July 2000. This was organised for Roman Catholics with an active interest...

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Building the Body: Transforming Relationships in the Local Church (Book Review)

Do you want to grow as a Christian? Do you want to be a more effective witness? This book, written by an Honorary Lecturer in Epidemiology at the London Hospital, champions the biblical theme of building the body of Christ in the local church. It suggests that God-honouring relationships are...

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Journeys of Faith. Churchbased responses to HIV and AIDS in three southern African countries (Book Review)

Many organisations and individuals in Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and UNAIDS assisted the authors in writing this well presented and illustrated book. While defining 'faith based' as having 'a religious affiliation', the book focuses on the Christian tradition. The introduction states that growing numbers of secular leaders have come to...

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Anxious Christians. Psychological Problems and The Christian Faith (Book Review)

This book consists of case histories about people with a variety of psychological problems and demonstrates ways of helping them. Subjects include: 'Shyness and lack of confidence', 'Chronic anxiety and difficulty in decision making', 'Sensitive children' and 'Difficulties in being able to forgive a former partner'. Each case history receives...

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When prayer seems unanswered

There's no heavenly insurance policy exempting people from life's realities, writes Janet Goodall. But that's not the end of the story. In Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey reflects on those whose faith in God is seriously shaken by seemingly unanswered prayer.[1] Although earnestly asked to intervene, the Almighty still allows devastating...

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