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triple helix: spring 2002

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The Lords’ Report on Stem Cells - Selective With the Truth

There is no doubt that stem cell technology holds great promise for sufferers of degenerative conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, but the main issue addressed by the Lords’ Select Committee on Stem Cell Research was whether research on cloned human embryos was still necessary, given recent advances in...

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Goldenhar Syndrome - A Tragic Breakdown in Communication

A high profile disagreement between doctors and the parents of a baby with a rare facial disorder was finally resolved after a seven hour High Court hearing in Leeds, when the parents agreed to an urgent tracheotomy (BBC News, 7 March). Twelve week old Maria Aziz Al-Rafi, the only survivor...

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HFEA Decision on Designer babies - An Unethical and Dangerous Precedent

A Leeds couple, Shahana and Raj Hashmi, have been given permission to create a baby to act as a bone marrow donor for their son Zain, who suffers from thalassemia. No compatible donor has been found. The couple will undergo IVF treatment with the resulting embryos being screened for both...

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Stem Cell Stitch Up - Pro-Life Voices Claim They Were Silenced

The religious press predictably headlined it ‘Church backs cloning decision’[1] but the reality is more complex than that. What the headline boils down to is that the Board for Social Responsibility (BSR) of the Church of England threw its weight behind the recommendations of the House of Lord’s Select Committee...

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A report to the Chief Medical Officer by an independent working party has considered best practice in managing Chronic Fatigue.[1] But the working party’s conclusions caused six resignations from its committee. The four medical specialists who resigned constituted the majority of the expert medical members. The working party had used...

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Good News in the Surgery

Christian GPs are aware that health includes a spiritual component. But to what extent should we take some responsibility for our patients’ spiritual welfare? In particular, is it ‘OK’ to talk to our patients in surgery about Jesus? The Bible is quite clear about evangelism. We are told about the...

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Gay Adoption

Adoption is not a modern idea. Roman Civil law legislated adoption in order to provide a male heir for the estate. This sentiment is reflected in the adoption laws of various European and Latin American countries.[1] In contrast, British law is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. Here adoption has always been...

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ICMDA

PS: Peter, we hear that ICMDA has just appointed a new General Secretary to follow on from you. Can you tell us a little about him? PP: Ralph Sinn and his wife Barbara both graduated from the University of Alberta Medical School, Canada, in 1984. Ralph is a family physician practising...

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To Russia with Love

A short visit to Russia last autumn took me to join Moscow’s Christian Medical Mission (CMM) under the directorship of Dr Olga Polezhaeva. We visited two city orphanages and another in Tula district, near Tolstoy’s old home. Each held about 50 orphaned or abused children, aged 5-16 years. Throughout Russia...

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Caring for Refugees

Asylum seekers are frequently portrayed as bogus or economic migrants who enter the country illegally and should be locked up and sent back where they came from. One of these statements is true: if you are forced to flee your country there are few ways of doing it legally. Many...

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Developing World Drugs

The recent publication by Medicines sans Frontiers entitled ‘Fatal imbalance: the crisis in research and development for drugs for neglected diseases’ has caused considerable interest in the press.[1] The report describes the research and development activities of eleven major pharmaceutical companies, representing combined sales of nearly $117bn (£78bn). In the...

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Sprituality of the Consultation

Introduction I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing often-times The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh, nor grating, though of ample power To chasten or subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more...

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Eutychus

Dilly-Dally Dolly Dolly the cloned sheep has arthritis, further evidence that she is ‘old before her time’. Certainly her telomeres - end-chromosomal DNA fragments which shorten with each cell division - are shorter than would be expected for a sheep of her age. And we do know that cloned animals are...

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Honourably wounded - Stress Among Christian Workers (Book Review)

Marjory Foyle was a general medical missionary in South Asia and experienced her own fair share of stressor exposure before training in psychiatry and returning to India. When she reached 60 years of age she embarked on a global travelling ministry conducting counselling and carefully noted psychiatric assessments. Her ground-breaking...

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Realized Religion (Book Review)

It has been said that if there is just a five per cent advantage in clinical benefit from a certain treatment, then the advantages and disadvantages of this should be discussed with patients. There is now growing evidence that having a religious faith brings considerable advantages. Have we come to...

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Psychology, Religion and Mental Health (Book Review)

Is religion good for your health? This is one of the questions Montagu Barker addresses in this book based on his four Templeton lectures. The aim of these lectures is to integrate science with modern issues in medicine, psychiatry and religious experience. Dr. Barker states that his 'aim has been...

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Alternative Medicine - The Christian Handbook (Book Review)

This impressive book, endorsed by the Christian Medical Association of USA, is an honest attempt to evaluate alternative medicine, bringing together both faith and science. It is packed with valuable information and is particularly useful as a handbook for Christian carers who do not have opportunity to research these areas...

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Healing (Book Review)

This is the ecumenical version of the seminal work on healing, which in its original form stimulated so many of us in our thinking about the healing ministry. Paradoxically, it is perhaps a shame to have lost the original foreword, which describes the influences which brought Francis to his conviction...

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Setting up Community Health Programmes (Book Reviews)

Dr Lankester packs this manual for community health workers with practical advice on how to help a community tackle causes of ill health, and treat disease cheaply and effectively using home-grown community health workers. He starts by explaining the philosophies of Community Based Health Care, and the practicalities of working...

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Life is a Fatal Disease

‘Life is a fatal disease’ was a phrase frequently used by one of my favourite consultants. He was right. We are born, we die, and in between we experience the perversity of British weather (or the luxury of no such experience if you are an overseas Triple Helix reader). Apart...

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