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triple helix: winter 2007

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Confessing Christ today

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there...

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World AIDS Day

Another World AIDS Day passed on 1 December: but amidst the usual flurry of news stories and updates on the epidemic, and the predictable tables of statistics showing the mounting scale of the problem, there was a glimmer of hope. At Saddleback Church in California, Rick Warren, author of The...

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Stem cells

The last few months have yielded much good news on the adult stem cell front. Several ground-breaking research projects have announced successful results. There is hopeful news for diabetics. In New Orleans, human bone marrow stem cells have been shown to repair defective insulin-producing pancreatic cells in diabetic mice. [1]...

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Psychological consequences of abortion

Since 1967, more than six million abortions have been performed in Britain, over 95 percent on the grounds that abortion safeguards the mental health of women with unplanned pregnancies. In a letter to the Times, [1] coinciding with the 39th anniversary of the Abortion Act on 27 October 2006, fifteen...

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A nasty challenge from NICE

'I do want to' said our blessed Lord when asked by a leper if he wanted to cure him. [1] As doctors, it is our huge privilege to participate in healing. The challenge of medicine has been to do well what works and to avoid ineffective treatments. The National Institute...

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Resuscitating neonates – The Nuffield Council Report

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics [1] published its long awaited report Critical care decisions in fetal and neonatal medicine: ethical issues on 16 November 2006.[2,3,4] In the weeks leading up to its release there was considerable media speculation about its contents with major newspapers highlighting what individual bodies had said...

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Alan Johnson – Obituary

Most of our teachers were respected, and many were admired, but only a few were loved. I came to love Alan, because he gave me the greatest gift; integrating my medical practice into a framework of Christian morality. He taught me the expected surgical skills, but he was inspiring in...

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Integrity in Research

Key points Fraudulent research harms patients, ruins careers and wastes resources. Yet the pressure to succeed academically can be immense and one in five new consultants is tempted to carry out research fraud. As Christians we need to recognise that any kind of deception is wrong. Our scientific understanding can...

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Cannabis + mental health

Key Points Cannabis is a controversial illegal drug. There is increasing disquiet about its recent reclassification as a Class C drug. An enlarging body of research and expert opinion suggests that it causes a great deal of mental ill health including psychosis. There is increasing evidence that it causes memory...

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Improving international child health

Key Points Each year eleven million children die in the developing world from perinatal causes, preventable infections and AIDS. As doctors working within the developed world, it's tempting to think that we can't do anything about this from where we are. However, by lobbying the powers that be, we can...

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Death + Dying

'That injection killed him!' 'He was the kindest man who ever lived.' 'The hospital never told me he was going to die!' 'We did everything together…'These are just some of the things that have been said to me as a GP after a patient's death. Comfort and compassion At a...

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Obituaries

Betty Cowan OBE (q Glasgow 1951; d 10 September 2006) Family circumstances prevented Betty embarking on a career in medicine until she was in her early thirties. During her first year at Glasgow University she came to personal faith in Christ, and this mapped out her medical missionary career. In...

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The Baby Business - How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception (Book Review)

From the position of a Harvard Business School professor, Deborah Spar tackles the thorny issue of infertility and the markets that it has created. Her thesis is much broader than one might expect. She covers the ethical dilemmas thoroughly and describes beginning of life issues in a clear and engaging...

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No Water – No Life - Hydration in the Dying (Book Review)

The debate about hydration in the dying has been intense and very important. Gillian Craig, a retired geriatrician, brings an excellent breath of fresh air to this debate, providing data, published research and a wide range of opinion. The style of the book is interesting, a collage of papers and...

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Adolescents and Sex - The handbook for professionals working with young people (Book Review)

The rate of increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is alarming. This clear, well-referenced book includes factual information on teenage pregnancy, contraception and STIs, alongside thoughtprovoking chapters on important issues for debate. It is useful for clinical practice, service commissioners, youth workers and church ministers, and parents. The opening chapters...

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Lessons Learned on the Journey - Exploring the realities of faith through word and art (Book Review)

Some years ago, when he moved from Philadelphia to Hungary to work with International Health Services, emergency physician Bob Snyder began to write a journal of the spiritual lessons that God was teaching him through everyday experiences. In this book, Bob has brought together 50 of these vignettes and asked...

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Eutychus

War on women The UN has received a stark warning about the growing global incidence of sex selected abortions and prenatal sex selection. Speaking about the growing popularity of 'son preference', demographics expert Dr Eberstadt from the American Enterprise Institute termed the trend a 'Global War Against Baby Girls'. China's...

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Letters

HPV vaccine Chris Richards, Newcastle paediatrician and Director of Lovewise, argues that immunising against cervical cancer is aiding and abetting sin. I disagree with Trevor Stammers (Triple Helix 2006; Winter:7) that Christians should welcome the development and use of the HPV vaccine. There are two biblical reasons against mass HPV...

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News from abroad

It's a real privilege to be on the receiving end of the many newsletters our members working abroad send to us. Some leave you in tears, others fill you with laughter. I've extracted details from one of them, changing some of the details slightly for security reasons. It gives a...

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A Valley Experience

However I reached this place, there is no possible evil, without or within, that our Good Shepherd is powerless to keep at bay or to slay. He is a match for them all. I can either react to the difficulties in ways that only add to the pain, or I...

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