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triple helix: autumn 2006

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Elijah or Obadiah? The role of Christian doctors

The Old Testament prophet Elijah's confrontation with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 is one of the best-known stories of the Old Testament. One man has the courage to stand up to Israel's apostate king Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel and wins a great victory on Mt...

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Sanity prevails at the BMA – Overwhelming vote to reject change in law on assisted dying

The British Medical Association voted overwhelmingly to reject any change in the law on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide at its annual representative meeting on 29 June 2006.[1] The vote followed the body's controversial move to a neutral position in 2005 and similar decisions to oppose assisted dying by both the...

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FASBOs (fetal anti-social behaviour orders) – Christians should support properly resourced and evaluated policies

The UK Prime Minister Tony Blair recently stated,'If we are not prepared to predict and intervene far more early, children are going to grow up in families that we know perfectly well are completely dysfunctional. The kids a few years down the line are going to be a menace to...

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Obesity and IVF – National guidelines should be fair, evidence-based and in children's best interests

The media recently reported that moves were afoot to stop obese women receiving invitro fertility (IVF) on the National Health Service (NHS).[1] The broadsheets were less hysterical but many larger women received the message that the NHS was not going to help them fall pregnant.[2] Behind the headlines was a...

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Global poverty marches on – Time for Christians to blow the whistle

In the last few years we have seen the Millennium Development Goals, the UN declarations on AIDS, Blair's Africa Commission and the Gleneagles G8 Declaration. But despite all these good words and agreements, the evidence suggests that most governments are not delivering on aid, debt relief or opening up global...

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Palliating the Future

Has there ever been another parliamentary bill to rival Lord Joffe's direct challenges both to Christian morality and to the prevailing ethos of medicine? Thankfully, his Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, which sought to legalise physician-assisted suicide, was defeated in May.[1] One of the most powerful arguments used...

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Caught in the Net

Despite pornography rarely being out of the newspapers, the media recently reported that all is not well in the airbrushed garden. The Daily Mail was alarmed that more than nine million men - almost 40 percent of the adult male population - logged onto sex websites last year. The number...

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Earthquake Zone

After nearly 30 years as a gynaecologist in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, I decided to retire in 1999, a year earlier than originally intended. My sick sister and elderly parents needed care. I thought there would be no question of returning to work so I abandoned everything...

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Searching for Roots

The desire to know our roots is very strong, almost instinctive. Around the world people are seeking knowledge of their origins – ancient ancestors, forefathers of recent centuries or immediate family.We all belong to one, huge human family, yet we seem to need a sense of belonging to a certain...

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Psychological effects after Abortion

Back in 2002 I reviewed the evidence regarding psychological ill effects after abortion and concluded that these reactions did occur; risk factors included a previous psychiatric history and the lack of a supportive relationship.[1] The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was not adequately warning about this risk, despite representatives...

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Meeting Dr Right

What do you think to speed and online dating? Join the debate on the online CMF Juniors Forum at www.cmf.org.uk/forum 'Most of us continue to survive because we're convinced that somewhere along the line, with grit and determination and perseverance, we will end up in some magical union with somebody....

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Researching the Rod

I feel sorry for parents today, caught up in the kind of culture war recently highlighted in Triple Helix.[1] 'Experts'tell them not to smack their children, claiming that it only modifies behaviour in the shortterm. Apparently, it may even teach them to be violent. If a child's behaviour must be...

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Eutychus

Depressed 'could get help to die' Assisted suicide could be offered to Britons who are chronically depressed rather than terminally ill, the head of a controversial Swiss group has said. Ludwig Minelli announced that his organisation, Dignitas, is asking the Swiss Supreme court to allow a change in the law....

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Defiant Birth - Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics (Book Review)

Russell T Davies, writer of the current 'Doctor Who' series, may well applaud this book. Discussing the insane cyber controller's vision of eradicating all human weakness and sickness, Doctor Who warns him of the result: 'a metal earth, with metal men and metal thoughts'. Sadly, in the real world, those...

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A Reason for Hope - Gaining strength in your fight against cancer (Book Review)

The author is a medical doctor and Christian pastor at an American cancer treatment centre. He is therefore familiar with people's reactions both at diagnosis and during the trials of often long drawn out therapy. For all this, his message is upbeat. God is pro-life and has designed the body...

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Euthanasia. A License to kill? (Book Review)

The assisted dying debate, fuelled by a succession of Bills put before the House of Lords by Lord Joffe, is not going to go away. It is an issue of huge importance, and has the potential to change the practice of medicine profoundly.Yet the debate is often superficial. Many in...

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The Mystery of Marriage - Meditations on the Miracle (Book Review)

This book fully deserves this revised and expanded 20th anniversary edition. I enjoyed reading it for the first time years ago and valued greatly rereading it with another decade of married experience behind me. The author is a Canadian who intended to become a monk but fell in love with...

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Obituaries

Isobel Adeney (q Dundee 1938; d 28 March 2006) Isobel Adeney (nee Anderson) qualified in 1938 and then became casualty officer at the Mildmay Mission Hospital in London where she met Harold, whom she married in 1939. They sailed for Africa that year where together they served the Lord...

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News from Abroad

It is always both a challenge and an encouragement to meet folk at the Developing Health Course (see the report in CMF News) who are working overseas and to hear something of their story. The problems they face may be common to all - working in difficult and trying circumstances...

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Guilt and Grace

If I'm honest, there were times when I dreaded attending our university Christian Union.We would gather on Thursday lunchtimes in an old panelled room used for storage, secreted behind heavy wooden doors.With winning smiles we would sing and pray. There was great friendliness, even heartiness, but often I left feeling...

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