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triple helix: Easter 2011

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Policy decisions in medicine

Policy decisions in medicineDriven by evidence in ideology? The risk of developing [lung cancer] increases in proportion to the amount smoked. It may be 50 times as great among those who smoke 25 or more cigarettes a day as among non-smokers. Thus concluded Richard Doll's 1950 British Medical Journal 'citation classic'...

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End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill

On 1 December 2010, the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill, which would have legalised both euthanasia and assisted suicide, was heavily defeated in the Scottish Parliament by 85 votes to 16 with 2 abstentions. (1) The final vote was the result of near unanimous opposition from Scottish healthcare professionals...

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Cuts in US overseas aid

<p>At the time of writing, the United States government and legislature are in the midst of a huge wrangle about how far and how deep they will cut expenditure over the next two years. 1 This situation is familiar to us in the UK as we stare at fiscal austerity...

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Christian GP removed from drug advisory committee

Christian GP removed from drug advisory committee Hired then fired for being 'controversial' As a GP working with patients with drug problems, CMF member Hans-Christian Raabe was appointed in January to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). On 7 February, before he had attended any meetings in...

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Lord Falconer's Commission on Assisted Dying

Lord Falconer's Commission on Assisted Dying Unnecessary, unbalanced, and lacking in transparency On 30 November 2010, just a day before the overwhelming defeat of Margo MacDonald's Bill, the pro-euthanasia lobby launched its latest strategy to change hearts, minds (and ultimately laws) with respect to euthanasia and assisted suicide. The aims...

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STAT - Short Term Able to Travel

The turn-of-the-year cholera crisis in Haiti that followed the earthquake saw ten CMF doctors travel there to provide treatment, effectively launching the new 'STAT list' of members able to meet short term needs overseas. Vivid accounts describing the short term situation include a new clinical sign – the 'Nokia sign' means...

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The new Biblical Counselling: a challenge to 'Christian' psychiatrists

Back in 1975, when I started my psychiatry training, it wasn't long before I met my first patient requesting to see 'a Christian psychiatrist'. At first I sympathised: suspicion of atheistic Freudianism had led me to commence my training with a 'Christian' consultant too. But with experience I began to...

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NHS cuts: how can we respond?

NHS cuts: how can we responde? Juniors, you will staff the NHS of the future. In a time of change, what sort of NHS do you want to work in? We must all recognise the country's financial situation, and seek to follow the Christian mandate to be good stewards of resources....

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Any willing provider?

Any willing provider? key points With a new government and an austere economic climate, the author considers the opportunities the 'Big Society' and the NHS reforms offer to Christians. He recalls the 18th and 19th century Evangelical social reformers and briefly reviews the state of a largely secular NHS. An entrepreneurial contemporary example...

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Burrswood - Christian hospital and place of healing

There is still an overtly Christian hospital in the UK that is alive and well. Burrswood, in Kent, is an international resource for the Christian church that demonstrates a practical outworking of Christ's call to heal, with a marriage of orthodox medical treatment and care alongside Christian ministry and an...

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My eureka moments

I would like to take the first step in this Congress (1) of helping us to get to know each other better, and to tell you some of the 'eureka moments' of my own story, which illustrate the interaction and priorities of faith and medicine. I like to talk of...

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A curious cure?

The Galilean village of Nain is nine miles south of Nazareth and is still occupied today. It is aptly named (Hebrew: pleasant) because it is half way up a hill with a spectacular view over the Jezreel valley below to snow-capped mountains beyond. The nearby hills are studded with caves. As...

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eutychus

Adverse maternal outcomes from IVF UK maternal mortality has been creeping up for two decades. The first published case report (1991) related to in vitro fertilisation predicted increasing maternal morbidity and mortality associated with assisted reproductive technologies, due to pregnancies at an older age, multiple pregnancies and pre-eclampsia. A 2010...

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Wired for God?

Wired for God The biology of spiritual experience Charles Foster Hodder and Stoughton 2010 £12.99 Pb 331 pp ISBN 978 0 34096 442 2 I doubt many CMF members will have read a book quite like this. If, like me, you haven't read other works by Charles Foster, this will be an eye opener. The author...

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Empty Arms

The Bible reminds us to 'comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God'. Keren Baker does this beautifully through this book, which she wrote during the year following the eeath of her two-year-old daughter Natalie from septicaemia. While not minimising the heart-wrenching agony of...

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Cara

This is the story of a mother's spiritual journey, interwoven with the practical challenges of parenting and accessing support for a severely disabled daughter. It is an honest and painful account of one family's struggles but also a clear testimony of God's grace and care, even in the bleakest times. ...

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A Time to Live

The author makes a very strong case against euthanasia and against 'assisted dying' as a route to its legalisation. He starts with his experience of his mother's death and uses accounts of others' experiences effectively. Pitcher tackles social, medical, legal and theological arguments thoughtfully, but so as to make the...

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Feathers in the dust

David Trevelyan is the pen name of a hospice doctor who wrote this novel because 'for too many, what happens in a hospice is cloaked in mystery and misunderstanding'. He tells the story of a young surgeon who takes a temporary post at the local hospice. He is given a...

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Life - is it God's or mine to end?

The major aim of this short book is to examine the 'value of life' in the light of all the resurrection miracles in the Bible, such as the story of Lazarus, and to ask why they took place. The author concludes these miracles reflect the extremely high value and meaning...

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Audacity to Love

After years as a missionary in Nigeria and then as a geriatrician in Merseyside, Anne Merriman developed an understanding of palliative and terminal care and took it to relieve cancer sufferers, first in Singapore then in Uganda. The 'audacity' of the title describes her struggles with officialdom before winning approval,...

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The Pregnancy Book

Will van der Hart is an Anglican minister and national speaker of rising repute, and his wife a key partner in this work. The book spans conception to the first year of a first child's life. The van der Harts contextualise each time period biblically, give some practical pointers and...

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From the occult to assurance

From the occult to assuranceI come from a Greek Orthodox background although this personally meant nothing to me, as within the Greek community you cannot separate culture and religion. From the age of 15, I had a great desire to know truth and if there was that 'One True God',...

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The QT Interval

The QT intervalMore than 30 years ago I was, briefly, a registrar in cardiology. I became familiar with interpreting ECG traces, and therefore studied the QT interval. As a relatively new Christian, who has always enjoyed playing (badly) with words, I could relate the QT interval to a habit I...

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