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triple helix: Christmas 2010

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Cape Town 2010

The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (1) closed in Cape Town on 25 October with a ringing call to the church. The event, perhaps the widest and most diverse gathering of Christians ever held, drew 4,000 selected participants from 198 nations. Organisers extended its reach into over 650 GlobaLink...

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DFID and maternal health

After noting recently the appalling level of maternal mortality in the developing world (1) some good news was welcome. This August came a long term meta-analysis of global maternal mortality statistics that showed a nearly 30% drop over the past two decades. (2) The UN annual report likewise found the...

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Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

After 19 years of controversial existence there is a real possibility that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will be axed. It has rarely been remembered during two decades of relentless embryo destruction that the original HFE Act 1990 came into being with the primary objective of protecting the...

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More quangos for the bonfire?

Among the quangos due for dissolution are the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group (TPIAG) and the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV (IAGSH). Since TPIAG was set up in 1998 to halve the national under-18 conception rate by 2010, it has put most of its efforts into the...

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New medical group advocates assisted suicide

A new group of 'health professionals' has recently joined the growing number of 'societies' and 'forums' seeking legal permission for doctors to assist with suicide. (1) Healthcare Professionals for Change (2) follows Libby Wilson's FATE (3) (Friends at the End), Michael Irwin's SOARS (4) (Society for Old Age Rational Suicide),...

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A time to let go?

Key points Pressure for physician assisted deaths is driven by a culture of individualism and choice, but also by many people's fears of what their last days or weeks of life will be like. The author, a geriatrician, argues that therapeutic and symptomatic care must go handin- hand, and that...

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The vulnerable: their quality of care

I have worked for 25 years as an NHS GP in the north west of England. Care for the vulnerable is the main purpose of my job, and the direct or indirect professional concern for most of us each day. Aspects of vulnerability are also the main ethical issues we...

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Are we doctors who are Christians - or are we Christian doctors?

God gave me a clear instruction: 'Follow me'. Have I dropped everything and done just that? Do I love him first and foremost in my life, forsaking everything, even my closest relationships? I know a true disciple is prepared to forsake his family and his career for him alone. Am...

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To pray or not to pray?

To pray or not to pray?The subject of praying with patients received much media scrutiny after nurse Caroline Petrie was suspended in 2009 for offering to pray with a patient. (1) Spiritual health is an important aspect of holistic care. The British Medical Association 2009 conference recognised this, but failed...

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Ultra-short term medical mission: is it worthwhile?

This March, 17 UK health professionals formed the medical arm of a two week mobile mission in rural Kenya, in response to an invitation from a prominent Maasai pastor, David ole Kereto. The itinerary included two days' work in each of four places, running clinics in primary schools, a church...

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Cardinal Newman's Miracle

The making of a Saint? In September 2010, at a much publicised ceremony during the British visit of Pope Benedict XVI, the late Cardinal Newman was beatified. There are two stages in the making of a Catholic saint, beatification and canonisation, and each stage requires evidence of a miracle resulting from...

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Healthy doctors, healthy patients (1)

What is health? The World Health Organisation definition of health tells us Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (2) Bearing this in mind, it is hard to imagine anyone could be completely healthy. One small twinge,...

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Floods in Pakistan

'It was terrible – people were just lying beside the road, with nowhere to go. Children were on the ground, scraping up bits of rice that someone had dropped. People were drinking the flood water.' Dr Nadeem Hidayat described the scenes he witnessed the day the flood swept through Pakistan's...

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eutychus

Clampdown on Dutch 'coffee shops' The Dutch have traditionally tolerated selling small amounts of cannabis through licensed 'coffee shops', which first emerged in the mid-1970s with the idea of creating a safe environment where adults could smoke cannabis but other illegal substances would be banned. Licensing laws limiting the social harms...

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My Donkey Body

These two books are linked by a common author, Michael Wenham, an Anglican priest. He has never met Jozanne Moss, only communicated by email. There is a CMF link, as they were introduced by Peter Saunders. What the authors have in common is that both are living through the progressively...

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A time to care

There is plenty of help in our churches for parents of young children – toddler groups, parenting courses, crèche on Sunday. This book is an excellent resource for the increasing number of us who are at the other end of family care. Each thoroughly biblical and accessible chapter closes with...

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Surprised by grief

Starting at the moment of her husband's unexpected death, Janine Fair, mother, doctor and vicar's wife, explores the impact of this tragic event on herself, her young family and her faith. In a direct and punchy style, she examines her spiritual and psychological weaknesses, dissecting how God uses events to...

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Incapacity and care

It was winter 1983, while doing obstetrics at medical school, that I witnessed the sterilisation of a young woman with mental disability. We met her at the hostel one day and she was operated on the next. This always felt questionable, but it was only while reading this book that...

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Just the two of us?

This is a gentle, sensible walk through issues that appear when infertility crushes your identity, written by two women whose infertility had different outcomes. They discuss questions of concern to Christian couples longing for a child, some of whom may have suffered miscarriages or stillbirth. The book is also meant...

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Turning the world upside down

Five reasons to buy. First, it is short. Secondly, it is packed with facts about the health status of the world. I personally will be using the many powerful quotations and facts in future talks. Thirdly, it is written by the man who for five years ran the NHS –...

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Healing is a way of life:

After experiencing healing following a nervous breakdown, Canon Jim Glennon became well known for his healing ministry, from 1960 until he died in 2005. This compilation preserves his teaching as a practical resource for today's reader. Set out as daily readings (five/week for a year), each day has a Bible...

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Letters

Language for leprosy C Ruth Butlin has advised the Danish Bangladesh Leprosy Mission. She enjoyed the article 'Drugs and Alcohol: Why should we care?' (Easter 2010: 10-11) but makes an important comment about language: I regret I am late in sending this comment as I only read the Easter Triple Helix recently...

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Not made for time, but for eternity

Not made for time, but for eternity I recently received an email from a friend in Cambridge. He suggests that all of us have a certain frustration from being confined within time. We cannot hold on to time...but our frustration with time suggests that perhaps we are not meant to be...

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