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triple helix: Spring 2018

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God's prescription for exhausted doctors:living with daily pressures

Christian doctors face extraordinary pressures - not only do we often feel asked to do the impossible with inadequate resources, but our own sense of duty can drive us to take on responsibilities that surpass our ability to cope. The prophet Elijah, after his victory over the prophets of Baal on...

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Fixing the NHS: A role for churches

In the first weeks of the New Year, the usual acute winter pressures on the NHS reached their worst crisis point in many years. (1) An alarming number of hospitals were on black alert with stories of patients waiting in ambulances for hours to be seen in A&E and the...

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The Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill:Baroness O'Loan deserves our full support

Baroness O'Loan's Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill (1),(2) passed its second reading (debate stage) in the House of Lords on 26 January 2018. It is now being reviewed by a Committee of the Whole House where amendments can be submitted and debated. If it then passes a third reading it...

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Debate over alternative medicine re-surfaces:NHS funding for homeopathy withdrawn

Wh y do people turn their backs on mainstream medicine and put their trust in unproven remedies not attested by science? The question came to the fore recently when the NHS announced that a major centre of homeopathy in London will no longer be allowed to spend NHS money on...

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Medical abortion: concerns about taking a pill at home

Medical abortions now account for 62% of abortions in England and Wales, a significant increase from the 30% carried out in 2006. (1) In Scotland 83% of abortions are now medical. (2) President of the RCOG, Professor Lesley Regan, is leading calls for women to be able to take medical...

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Guarding the price of freedom

Key points The march of secular humanism calls for active engagement by Christians in parliaments, courts and institutions. After failure to win parliamentary votes to legalise assisted suicide, the courts have now become the battleground. Currently there are no bills concerning abortion before Parliament, but proabortion activists may seek to amend...

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Healthcare in interesting times

Key points Expected reductions in the American aid and development budget will further weaken the global response to major health challenges. Funding cuts to agencies such as Marie Stopes and Planned Parenthood may provide openings for faith-based agencies to bid for funds. War situations continue to force millions to become refugees....

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The juggling act

Key points Combining parenting, clinical life and all the rest takes a lot of effort. But there are resources to help, not least in the church When children are little, communication beyond functional matters can suffer and this is where young parents sometimes need to call for help. There can be...

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Faith and freedom from addiction

Key points Addiction comes in many forms. More and more people are succumbing to it. The root of addiction is a response to deep-seated emotional pain or trauma. No situation is hopeless. The Christian faith promises that 'the truth will make you free'...

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Advice you can trust

One in 20 people in the Middle East have been displaced by conflict. (1)This staggering statistic is an indicator of the pressure on health services and the struggle of displaced people to get the help they need. This is why SAT-7, a Christian satellite TV network in the region, is...

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A call to rest

Key points God the creator both worked and rested and this is a pattern for humans too. We are becoming a society enslaved by the demands of overwork. The purpose of rest is to ensure we are fruitful. We need to understand the natural rhythms of life and know...

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Faith and tattoo culture

Key points Tattoos are growing in popularity today. They are no longer the preserve of working classes and are increasingly seen as an art form. There are down sides: they can be addictive and more or less permanent. People sometimes come to regret a rash choice. Having a tattoo today is...

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Popping social bubbles

I have a confession to make, I live in a bubble. A social bubble. I like to think that I don't, that as a doctor I mix with a huge variety of people with different backgrounds, beliefs and political leanings. Whether they are colleagues, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, porters or patients....

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Reviews

Thinking of You: A resource for the spiritual care of people with dementia Joanna Collicutt BRF, 2017, £9.99, 256pp ISBN: 9780857464910 Reviewed by Cameron Swift , Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine, based in Kent The topic of dementia is rightly high on today's public policy agenda. Christian health professionals and...

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eutychus

Limits to love Where is the boundary line between simple reportage and campaigning? In February, the BBC screened documentary Love Unlimited featuring a 23-year-old woman who says she is polyamorous - in a relationship with two men she claims to love equally. 'I just don't see why I should artificially limit...

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Do not hold me

'Jesus said, "Do not hold onto me. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."' (1) This message was given to Mary Magdalene in her grief. She had loved and lost. Lost, it seemed, even...

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