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triple helix: summer 2014

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Assisted suicide: doctors should have none of it

Falconer Bill poses new threat Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill (1) would grant new powers enabling doctors to dispense lethal drugs to mentally competent adults, judged to have six months or less to live and who have a 'settled wish' to end their lives. As such it runs counter to the...

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U-turn on aetiology of sexual orientation

RCPsych concedes orientation is multifactorial The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), in an extraordinary about-face, has conceded that sexual orientation is not wholly biologically determined. In a new position statement (1) issued in April 2014, they now consider that the causes are 'a combination of biological and postnatal environmental factors'. The...

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NHS whistleblowers

Time for a change of attitude 'Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.' (1) 'Speak the truth in love' (2) Why is it so hard to stand up and speak out against poor standards and bad practice in...

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Celebrating not censoring debate

Closing down discussion won't do Review by Philippa Taylor CMF Head of Public Policy Anne Furedi, who heads up the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the UK's largest abortion provider, recently wrote a seminal article extolling the value and importance of debate. (1) Furedi wrote the article after taking part in a...

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Pro-life doctors denied qualifications

FSRH ban may be illegal Review by Peter Saunders CMF Chief Executive Doctors who object to prescribing 'contraceptives' which act after fertilisation are to be barred from receiving diplomas or fellowships in sexual and reproductive health even if they undertake the necessary training. The ruling comes in new guidelines...

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Those two imposters, triumph and disaster

Julia Marsh reflects on how God's paradoxical and sometimes upside-down economy has worked in her life. key points We can learn from Jesus' exammple, choosing obedience to God's will, however difficult that is. Experiencing brokenness will assist withy empathy and sharing bad news with patients. God's grace is sufficient and we can trust him...

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primary care in crisis

Steve Fouch reports on a crisis affecting the future of GP services in deprived urban and rural areas. key points Almost 100 GP practices in areas of high social deprivation could face closure because they do not fit the government's funding model. NHS England states that its hands are tied and that...

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Breaking the Cycle of FGM and Gender Violence

Ann-Marie Wilson reports on the global incidence of FGM and its toll on women. key points FGM is not a requirement within any religion. At least 125 million girls and women have experienced FGM in Africa and the Middle East, but it happens in the UK too. ...

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does being a christian make a difference?

Vinod Shah compares and contrasts the Christian and secular visions. Douglas Johnson, founder of CMF, once asked this question: 'Does being a Christian make no difference?' (1) This is the question I am hoping to answer here. I think there are major differences between the Christian and secular worldviews. The...

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Parish Nursing

Filling gaps in NHS care Helen Wordsworth introduces an emerging enterprise offered through churches. key points The NHS has gradually relegated the spiritual dimension from its work. Local churches have growing opportunities to offer wholistic healthcare support alongside the NHS. About 80 churches are involved so far and many more opportunities exist. Churches...

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Looking after your juniors

key points A good induction sets a clear keynote. Taking supervision seriously is important. Give priority to teaching and learning. Imitate Christ. Reaching the end of the first hospital post of my GP training, I realised this had been the most enjoyable six...

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rethinking retirement

key points Most doctors can look forward to two decades in retirement. These years can be fulfilling and there are many opportunities at home and abroad. There are almost unlimited opportunities for senior doctors to use their skills in resource-poor settings. Rick Warren, best-selling author and pastor of Saddleback Church in...

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Surgeon or Jack of All Trades?

A Mission Doctor in Tanganyika 1949-1990 Marion Bartlett MB, FCRCS Self published, 2013, £22.00, Pb 354pp, ISBN 9781909075139 Available from Timothy Fox, 40 Lakebar Avenue, Lancaster LA2 7JN Reviewed by John Martin, CMF Head of CommunicationsMarion Bartlett's chronicle of life as a pioneering surgeon is a useful contribution to the...

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Guinea Pig for Breakfast

A Rich Tapestry of Tragedy, Hope and Love in Ecuador Andrea Gardiner Grosvenor House, 2012, £8.99, Pb 305pp, ISBN 9781781485804 Reviewed by Huw Morgan, retired GP and medical missionaryThis is the story of a young British Christian GP who set up a village clinic and child sponsorship scheme in...

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God – I’ve got cancer

A message of hope for anyone who becomes seriously ill Dr Richard Scott TerraNova Publications, 2013, £9.00, Pb 192pp, ISBN 9780957047365 Reviewed by Liz Croton, a GP from Birmingham The back story underpinning this book is Dr Scott's own experience of being diagnosed with rectal cancer in...

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Stress

How to de-stress without doing less Dr Kate Middleton Lion Books, 2009, £7.99 Pb 192pp, ISBN 9780745953731 Reviewed by Paul Vincent, General PractitionerThis title intrigued me. The usual solution to stress is: do less, delegate, prioritise and learn to say no. Middleton acknowledges the need to step back, but part...

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What happens when I die?

And other questions about heaven, hell and the life to come Marcus Nodder Good Book Company, 2013, £3.99, Pb 96pp, ISBN 9781908762337 Reviewed by Julian Churcher, CMF London StaffworkerTake a complex and emotive subject that eludes description except by analogy and simile, and lies beyond shared human experience. Let...

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On Eagles’ Wings

Models in mentoring David Cranston Regnum Books International, 2014, £9.99, Pb 105pp, ISBN 9781908355461 Review by Chris Lavy, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Failing his finals at the end of medical school was, in retrospect, God's opportunity for David Cranston to live with and be mentored...

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Beyond Human?

Science and the Changing Face of Humanity John Bryant Lion Hudson, 2013, £9.99, Pb 253pp, ISBN 9780745953960 Reviewed by Peter May, retired General Practitioner The author is Professor Emeritus of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Exeter. He is also an accomplished writer. His detailed research...

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Knowing through poetic reflection

Brian Wakeman Penn Press, 2013, £7.99, Pb 280pp, ISBN 9781780036175 Reviewed by John Martin, CMF Head of CommunicationsQuite a few books of poems cross the Triple Helix editor's desk. Most are simply random collections. Here is something different, a poet who supplies notes alongside his offerings, to assist preachers...

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eutychus

Still clueless about AIDS Many British people remain 'clueless' about HIV and public knowledge has not kept pace with medical research. New data published on the 30th anniversary of the identification of the virus says many are unaware of preventative measures such as postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), and that ignorance fuels reluctance...

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The day I met Jesus

I met Jesus the other day. He was lying in a sleeping bag on the bench outside the church hall, his boots under the bench. Paul was his name – from Cardiff – his only family a sister in Australia. Ex-army –Welsh Guards – fought in the Falklands war. 50...

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