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triple helix: summer 2006

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Joffe Bill defeated - Give thanks for a successful campaign

Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, [1] which sought to legalise physician-assisted suicide in England and Wales, was defeated at second reading in the House of Lords on Friday 12 May by a massive majority of 148-100 after an eight hour debate in which over 90 peers...

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Culture Wars – Defining the Battle Line

The 20th Century was defined by economic and class-based divisions between socialists and capitalists. But with the main political parties now increasingly embracing free market capitalism and in the absence of an argument about economic management, culture rather than economics will be the future's defining political divide. The 21st Century...

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Complementary Medicine - The Professors, the Prince and the WHO

The ongoing conflict between orthodox medicine and the proponents of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) spilled onto the letters pages of the Times recently.[1] An open letter from leading doctors, including Professor Ernst and Nobel Prize winner Sir Black, criticised the NHS'seeping acceptance of CAM. It urged those holding influential...

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SAVE versus ABC - The Alphabet Wars of AIDS Prevention

In April, Christian Aid declared its support for the new HIV prevention strategy SAVE (Safer practices, Available medications,Voluntary counselling and testing, Empowerment.), as ABC (Abstain from sex until marriage, Be faithful to one sexual partner, and use Condoms) was 'not well suited to the complexities of human life'.[1] Some groups,...

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Human Trafficking - Horrific indifference to human misery and injustice

In June and July 2006, Germany played host to the World Cup. Up to three million football fans from across the globe descended on the country. Amongst the leisure services provided by the German authorities were dozens of legalised brothels. Up to 100,000 women, mostly from outside Germany, are thought...

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A question of perfection

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph recently, Lisa Green from Margate, Kent, described how 35 weeks into her second pregnancy, her obstetrician broke the news that her baby had Down's syndrome, and encouraged Mrs Green and her husband to consider a termination. She went on to say,'My baby was fully formed...

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UN Misses AIDS targets

At the start of June, delegations from across the globe, including over 100 from faith-based groups, descended on New York for a high level meeting at the UN General Assembly (UNGASS). It was five years since the UN's first declaration on HIV and AIDS in 2001. That declaration had been...

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Dismayed and Discarded

Key Points In March the Department of Health announced that international medical graduates (IMGs) now require work permits. This affects up to 15,000 foreign doctors currently working in the NHS or looking for work post-PLAB, as well as those doctors intending to come to the UK in the near future....

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Cloning and the Kirk

Key Points Buoyed up by the success of Dolly the Scottish Sheep and manipulated by atheistic working party members, the Church of Scotland's ruling body, the Kirk, has made the unprecedented move of approving therapeutic human cloning. In aligning itself with the UK government's ethically rogue position on cloning, the...

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Reflecting Christ in the Workplace

Key Points Healthcare professionals are not exempt from stress, burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder. Jesus too suffered fatigue and at times felt overwhelmed, but he received grace and strength to persevere. He knows how we feel when we are tempted to give in, give up or get out. Paul's letter...

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Portfolio Careers

Key Points Charles Handy, Oxbridge management guru, coined the term portfolio career in the late eighties. It describes a CV made up of several careers rather than one full-time job. Doctors are beginning to branch out into portfolio careers, and several CMF members have very successful ones. Advantages include flexibility,...

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Survivng a Week of Nights

The prospect of working every night for a week is daunting to say the least! After working nights in several specialties as a GP trainee, I offer these thoughts and coping strategies in the hope of reducing anxiety for anyone starting out on weeks of nights. Why nights? The creation...

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The death of medical journals

The British Medical Journal's appalling coverage of the end of life debate over the past few months has led many to question what is going on at our flagship journal.[1,2] The controversy has arisen because the majority of the journal's coverage on physician assisted suicide took a different view to...

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Obituaries

Alec Bookless (q Guy's 1935; d 22 March 2003) Alec studied at Cambridge and Guy's, developing a lasting interest in the Church Mission Society. After qualifying he joined a medical practice near Sanderstead, Surrey and married Daphne with whom he had three daughters. During the Second World War Alec served...

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Eutychus

Going to church may extend life Weekly religious attendance could add years to your life, according to a medical study carried out in the US. The effects of exercise, religious attendance and anti-cholesterol drugs on life expectancy were examined. All three were found to be beneficial, with religious attendance adding...

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The Shaming of the Strong - The challenge of an unborn life (Book Review)

To date, there has been a shortage of accessible material on the experience of continuing a pregnancy where the child has been found to have a severe abnormality. Here, at last, is a book where allied medical professionals, pastors and friends can see into the hearts of a family living...

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Sent to Heal! - Emergence and Development of Medical Missions

Midway through the nineteenth century, a new force emerged in Western missions to Africa and Asia – the medical missionary. Prior to that time, doctors, nurses and others with training in the healing and caring arts had travelled with missions to the far flung parts of the world, but only...

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News from Abroad

I'm just writing to let you know that I'm off to the ends of the earth next week for a couple of years… So often, this is the first we hear of someone's intent to work overseas. Leaving it that late means that you may miss out on the resources...

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Do Not Look Down on These Little Ones

Yesterday I attended a fund-raising coffee morning for a church overseas. One of the well-heeled ladies present had with her two young grandsons, who, despite all the lovely edibles, readily agreed that they found grown-up parties boring. They clearly longed to opt out. This morning, at a church breakfast convened...

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