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triple helix: Easter 2010

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God and politics - how will you vote?

'We don't do God', said spin doctor Alistair Campbell. 'Keep religion out of politics' proclaimed Australian opposition leader Mark Latham. (1) A Google search on 'Keep God out' brings up 99,600,000 references with California, Canada, Haiti, Irish law, public affairs, government, our democracy, stem cell research and football all prominent....

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spiritual care standards in the NHS - England and Northern Ireland lag behind

This January a consultation closed about standards and competencies for spiritual care delivery in the NHS in Wales. Final standards and guidelines should be out soon. Several Christian organisations (including Healthcare Christian Fellowship, Christian Nurses and Midwives (1) and Evangelical Alliance) made submissions, and most agreed the only real deficit...

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funding health and social care - who pays and how?

The rising costs of health and social care are an ever present but rarely acknowledged background to the end-of-life debate raging at the moment, and with the General Election expected on 6 May, the debate about social care funding has become particularly heated. Eighteen charities including Carers UK, Age Concern and...

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Umbilical cord blood stem cells - we told you so

In January 2008 CMF welcomed a new bill which encouraged the donation at childbirth of umbilical cord blood and its storage for public use, (1) and called on the government to invest more actively in developing the NHS cord stem cell bank. MP David Burrowes' Umbilical Cord Blood (Donation) Bill (2)...

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The Robin Hood tax - practical and just

A high profile campaign was launched in February to levy a 0.05% tax on all major bank transactions (currency trading, share dealing, derivatives, etc). This would raise tens or even hundreds of billions towards international development, supporting poorer nations in reducing carbon emissions, and sustaining UK public services in health,...

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Assisted suicide: 'compassionate' killing?

key points Cases in the media spotlight and the publication by the Director of Public Prosecutions of new prosecution guidelines have intensified the debate about assisted suicide. While much improved, the definitive guidelines remain fundamentally flawed. By seeming to endorse assistance that is 'wholly motivated by compassion', they have confused...

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(Un)employment - the long and the short

key points Unemployment now faces junior doctors because of increasing competition for training posts. Doctors trained outside the EU require a permit to work in the UK, and fewer jobs are available for newly qualified GPs. Two CMF members share their recent experiences. Victoria Kim came from Uzbekistan to develop...

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Drugs & alcohol: why should we care?

key points From a seminar he gave to doctors and students from across Europe-Eurasia at the 2008 ICMDA conference, the author examines substance misuse from both medical and Christian perspectives, concentrating on our atitudes to the stigmatised. Alcohol and drug misuse are common and have enormously destructive effects on physical,...

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Where is God in Haiti?

key points The author touches on the theology of suffering and of natural disasters, but notes that much human suffering and poverty are the result of man's greed and failure to care for the vulnerable. The high-density, badly constructed housing in which the disadvantaged were living and the poor infrastructure...

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abortion requests: should we 'refer'?

key points Christian GPs find handling abortion requests troublesome. CMF's recent publications on the subject are reviewed. Jim Newmark began a new discussion about refusal to make a written referral to hospital: there are inevitable consequences to other doctors, whether Christian or not, now caught up in the issue. Mark...

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MDG 5 - saving the lives of mothers

key points Millennium Development Goal 5 seeks by 2015 to have reduced maternal mortality by 75% from 1990 levels and to achieve universal access to reproductive health. It is probably the most off-target of all the MDGs. Mortality and morbidity are quantified, and 'three delays' postulated to explain maternal mortality:...

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Should I STAY or should I GO?

Should I stay or should I go? A question that may sound familiar to many junior doctors, and one that may be lurking at the back of your mind. No, I'm not referring to the song by The Clash; I mean that big question you ask yourself about practising medicine...

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eutychus

Skin cells to brain cells? With dementia and degenerative neurological diseases driving demand for euthanasia and assisted suicide, encouraging research has shown that 20% of skin cells from mice tails could be reprogrammed into neural cells. Lead researcher Marius Wernig described their surprising success as 'one of those high-risk, highreward projects'....

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Test of Faith Spiritual Journeys with Scientists

I was not expecting this to be the read it was, despite being a scientist of sorts – well, aren't all medics? I am easily confused by complex scientific concepts and I expected to be confused. However, this is not so much a book of science as a book of...

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Travelling Light Daily Bible meditations for student electives

Travelling Light is a daily Bible meditation containing a mixture of thoughts, readings and stories from doctors, nurses and students who have spent time abroad. It is split into weekly chunks under headings including 'Hope', 'Reliance on God', 'Dealing with death, suffering and inadequacy' and 'Rising above the day to...

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Is Faith Delusion?

Andrew Sims, CMF member and former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and professor at Leeds, considers the question: is faith delusion? He presents the evidence concerning religion and mental health and explains why it is not. Ranging widely, he includes a chapter on the history of psychiatry that...

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Matters of life and death Human dilemmas in the light of the Christian faith

This substantially updated second edition examines ethical dilemmas at the beginning and end of life. Written by a Christian professor of ethics and perinatology, the philosophical, theological, legal and medical aspects of these issues are discussed in a real-world setting. The book starts with reviews of well-known UK medical cases that...

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Choosing Life, Choosing Death The Tyranny of Autonomy in Medical Ethics and Law

Charles Foster concedes: 'In many ways this book is utterly trite. It states something that is obvious – that medical law and ethics, dealing with the whole of the immensely variegated human condition, needs to listen to other principles as well as autonomy.' Yet this book is an important challenge...

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Defying Disability The lives and legacies of nine disabled leaders

This book examines nine high-profile disabled people and how their achievements influenced British disability politics over the last 40 years. It provides remarkable insight into those disabled lifelong with a range of conditions. As a disabled doctor, I anticipated a source of inspiration, yet struggled with this book and only...

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Child sexual abuse and the churches Understanding the issues

This author pulls no punches in tackling tortuous and challenging issues in this updated edition of his 1997 book. An Australian law professor specialising in child protection, he shows remarkable insight into these intensely painful areas of human experience, from the perspectives of child victims, adult survivors, family members, church...

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I could do that!

These compelling stories, modestly written, demonstrate how Christian doctors, nurses and midwives have followed God's prompting and made important contributions to the health of the communities they have gone to serve. Probably none of them had any idea where their obedience would lead, but the stories describe their progress and...

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Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

In March 1993 David Lipskind, a Jewish Israeli Army reservist, was attacked at a bus stop in Nazareth by two Arabs wielding knives. Stabbed repeatedly, he staggered across the road and called out 'Brother – brother – help – I'm wounded!' His cry was heard by Tewfik Sheikh Sliman, a...

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Guided to my destination

In all the frenzied media debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide, the question of what lies beyond death is almost never raised. Thirty years ago, CMF's best selling book was published posthumously. 1 Its concluding passage is immensely relevant. A young family doctor, James Casson died of a malignancy in...

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