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triple helix: Christmas 2008

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Assisted suicide: the law is both clear and right

The High Court in October turned down her application, but in the light of public interest allowed her to proceed to the Court of Appeal, while making it very clear that her arguments were extremely unlikely to succeed. [1] The parents of Daniel James, a 23-year-old rendered tetraplegic following a...

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Mental Health Act amended

Finally, the 1983 Mental Health Act has been amended. [1] Much stays the same. What is new? The two most noteworthy changes are that the definition of mental disorder has significantly broadened to 'any disorder or disability of mind' and that community treatment orders" have been introduced. Parliament's 'guiding principles'...

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Healing miracles at Lakeland?

Earlier this year supernatural phenomena were being reported in Lakeland, Florida at 'revival' events organised by Fresh Fire Ministries, and led by Todd Bentley. [1] Respected evangelical R T Kendall, now retired in Florida, was concerned but did not want to ignore a true work of God: [2] ...

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Top-up payments

This autumn, debate about patients paying to 'top-up' NHS care has dominated the media. In West Sussex, Carole Simmons' family paid privately for the drug Avastin, not available on the NHS. They believed it would prolong her life. However, their NHS treatment was withdrawn as a consequence, leaving them with...

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HFE Bill

The 1967 Abortion Act caused 6.8 million abortions. The 1990 Human Fertilisation And Embroyology Bill [1] takes us several steps further by bringing in more liberal embryo research, saviour siblings, animal-human hybrids, fatherless IVF children, and by making legal without explicit consent the use of tissue from children, mentally incapacitated...

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Climate Change

Climate change has undoubtedlybecome the new gospel issue of our age. It claims that our chief problem is neglect of the earth, and that salvation for us and the planet hinges on our repentance. David Walker is absolutely right when he says that 'inasmuch as the “climate change gospel” stands...

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God has got plans for us

The best thing about my new job is its remoteness – 60-mile round trips for house calls through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. A whole hour per patient to admire the scenery and relax, think and pray, brood or just-be-alone! Last week I decided to use the drive to plan this...

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Ten years of Viagra

A man has a quick consultation. You deal with the problem and hand over a prescription but he hovers. 'Actually there's something else, doctor… err, I'm seeing this lady and, well, I'm having problems. I was wondering, err, you know those tablets…?' This scenario has become more familiar...

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Winning a care fight

In August 2004 CMF was approached by a member about a government consultation on denying access to primary care for failed asylum seekers. [1] This followed the Department of Health ruling in April 2004 that those classed as 'not lawfully resident' in the UK, including vulnerable migrant groups such as...

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Serving Christ in the workplace

The pioneer missionaries of the Christian church were motivated by a vision: a dream of a worldwide church in which people from every nation and tongue would gather together in unity. They sacrificed their lives in the hope that this vision would become a reality, yet their eyes never saw...

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Eutychus

NHS our religion? Diamond celebrations are past, but 'The National Health Service is the closest thing the English have to a religion'. (Nigel Lawson 1992) remains relevant. In 1976 Barbara Castle said the NHS was 'the nearest thing to the embodiment of the Good Samaritan that we have' while by...

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'Good to great and the social sectors' and 'Being strategic about leadership: the principles that work in God's world'

These two papers are worth reading together. Jim Collins, a non-Christian and author of a larger volume on business management entitled Good to Great, has written this monograph specifically for managers and leaders in non-profit organization. Jill Garrett, in a Christian Research Leadership Lecture delivered in 2006, refers to Collins'...

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Bound with love Letters home from China 1935-1945

The story of a mission doctor and his family living in inland China during a very disturbed period is told in a series of letters sent home by both husband and wife. Edited by their daughter, who was born in Japanese-occupied China, there are passages interposed to explain the...

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Carry the spices

Anyone interested in medical missions and every would-be medical missionary should read this splendid book. Its 28 short chapters (each with evocative colour photographs) carry the first-hand accounts of some two dozen Singaporean medical missionaries and their families over the last 40 years. It is a reminder to any European...

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A thorn in the flesh: finding strength and hope amid suffering.

Some people claim to have lost faith in God because he did not answer their fervent prayers for healing. Pablo Martinez, Christian psychiatrist and Bible teacher, reveals how prolonged suffering can instead enhance a relationship with God as the sufferer learns to stop futile (though not purposeful) fighting and discovers...

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Theology of the body for beginners

Broken families, abortion, AIDS, internet pornography, clergy abuse, homosexual 'marriage': church and world are in a profound sexual crisis. Is there a way out? For such a time as this have we been given Pope John Paul II and his 'theology of the body'. Based on the words of Jesus,...

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Should Christians be involved?

In a climate where alternative medicine has become increasingly popular, Dr Coker's substantially revised version of her 1995 books seeks to explain the range of therapies that now exist and to suggest ways to handle patients and relatives who may request advice on such issues. A good overview analyses...

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Foundations for medical ethics

Most Christian medical ethics books on the market are written by clinicians, aiming to provide biblical answers to tricky issues. Sean Doherty's thought provoking booklet starts from a different premise. Doherty is an Anglican curate and has led a medical ethics course for undergraduates, which formed the basis of the...

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Using the Bible in Christian Ministry - a workbook

This book arose out of research between the Bible Society and Cardiff University. It aims to enable those in pastoral ministry to use the Bible more effectively. Workbook style, it gives opportunity for reflection and group work. Two strong features emerge. It helpfully acknowledges that our tendency to respond to...

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Healing for the wounded life How to understand your illness and find Biblical solutions

Dr Gordon is a devout Christian clinician who lets God into every aspect of his professional practice, and then offers the fruit of his deep reflections. His scholarly book will repay careful study on many different levels: as a guide for Christians struggling with health issues, as a guide and...

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Gay children, straight parents - a plan for family healing

This book offers psychotherapist Richard Cohen's advice from his personal experiences to families who have a homosexual son or daughter. My husband and I are parents of a gay son who is a Christian, and we found what was written in the first part of the book to be very...

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Who am I? Experiences of Donor Conception

Joanne, Christine and Louise were all conceived following donor insemination (DI) Having been aware early in life of this, Joanne experiences increasing 'genetic bewilderment'. Christine's domineering mother used this secret knowledge as a weapon against here. The eighteen months after Louise learned the truth were the darkest of her life. ...

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The wider horizon: Is this how God sees the world?

More than 2000 verses in the Bible speak about God's special concern for the poor. This map shows where the poor of the world's children are: territories have been resized according to the proportion of all deaths of children aged over 1 year and under 5 years old. [1] In...

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Forsaken your first love?

I was much affected by Bernie Palmer's meditation entitled 'Forsaken your first love?' [2]. I was particularly struck by his speaking of our need for regular spiritual appraisal. But whoever heard of appraisal without an appraiser? So, who is to be our spiritual appraiser? Ultimately, of course, the Holy Spirit...

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Advance decisions to refuse treatment

I enjoyed reading many of the well balanced articles in the Summer 2008 Triple Helix. However, I was very disappointed by the article [1] about 'Advance decisions to refuse treatment' which was (in my view) very unbalanced. Sometimes, we have patients with multiple co-morbidities and limited life expectancy who lack...

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Opportunity (un)limited

If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about his" does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life...

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