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triple helix: summer 2001

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While Europe Slept - History's clock turns full circle

The holocaust and the horrific 1939-45 World War had small beginnings. The Nazis talked such absurdities that few thoughtful people took them seriously. Common wisdom reasoned that the Nazis could serve a useful purpose: let them take out the Communists and then we'll take care of them. But while Europe...

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Screening for Down's Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis - Is there a sinister subtext?

Screening for Cystic Fibrosis and Down's syndrome is to be made available to all mothers and pregnant women under new government proposals unveiled in April by Public Health Minister Yvette Cooper (BBC News Online 2001; 30 April). Mark Barron, communications manager of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, is not alone in...

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Aiding Africa - Antiretroviral drugs are important, but not enough

AIDS is a huge problem in Africa and at one time some expressed fears that it would not only wipe out a huge proportion of the population, but all healthcare provision as well. Viewed in that light it's hard for Westerners to understand the government of South Africa. At times...

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A Tragic Assisted Suicide - Prayerful commitment, not cynicism, is needed

A father suffocates his daughter after she fails to kill herself with an overdose and receives only a two year suspended sentence. The same girl had been turned out of a psychiatric hospital allegedly for giving cannabis to a fellow patient. The Media gives the impression that 'it's all the...

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New Global Health Fund - Too little, too late?

Poverty and health are closely linked; but it is not as widely known that communicable diseases now account for 77% of the 25-year difference in life expectancy between rich and poor nations. Tropical climates, poor nutrition, ignorance about prevention and treatment of disease and poorly developed health systems all contribute....

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Sex, Lies & Cigarettes

Tasteful. Sensitive. Beautiful. That's what the creators of the recent gay advertising campaign say about their posters. On one level I'm inclined to agree with them. The image accompanying the slogan 'Thank God for men', could easily be of two brothers embracing each other. I certainly don't find it offensive...

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Seismic Changes

The tectonic plates underlying the cultural context of Western society are on the move. As with seismology, where it is possible to predict where such activity will take place but impossible to say when and with what velocity the activity will happen, so with society and cultural change. There are...

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Growing up - in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men

'When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.'[1] As I grew, I put off some childish traits but built on others. Now as a paediatrician, I spend much of my time observing children going through the same process. Article six of...

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Beating Burnout

Recently, a consultant surgeon in mid-career wrote to me, 'Many of us are very tired and many just want to get out of work as soon as possible. There is certainly a perception that things have never been worse in the memories of anyone working today. I think perhaps the...

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Africa's Church Hospitals

Most missionary ventures have contained elements of medical work. The latter half of the nineteenth century saw the introduction of missions that were specifically medically orientated. Over the last century and more, in the West, the role of the church in providing medical care has been taken over by governments...

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Responses to McFarlane

Triple Helix: Is Gordon McFarlane right? Peter Bewes: One can sympathise with many of his findings - they ring true. Yet many, to their financial disadvantage, waive their fees to the really needy. Kevin Vaughan: The author's generalisation that 'church hospitals are serving only the middle income groups' needs to be strongly...

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Blood Feud

Last June the media heard of an apparent change in Jehovah's Witnesses' blood policy. [1] The subsequent headlines prompted a statement from the Watch Tower Society. 'There is no 'U-turn'', they insisted. 'Nothing major has changed, there's only a slight difference in how we deal with members who deviate from...

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Sharing Christ with Patients

Unsociable hours joined at the hip to a little black box that regularly bleeps at me! My first few months as a Christian junior doctor have been akin to juggling with slippery balls. Hospitals are funny places. A nurse friend thinks she would be challenged to think of a place...

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Eutychus

Ends and Means A trial using transplanted brain cells from aborted fetuses to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, has seriously backfired. Researchers at Colorado University found that whilst some clinical improvement had occurred in younger patients, those over 60 had not benefited and in 15% the procedure had exacerbated pre-existing...

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Unleashing the Lion -The Power of God in Health and Healing (Book Review)

This is a perplexing book. It provides analysis of some of Christ's healings and challenging anecdotes. It gives a humbling review of the history of medicine and a useful history of Christian healing. It contains a passionate discussion on the problem of suffering. It also warns against abuses by the...

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Comfort and Care in Final Illness (Book Review)

June Kolf has had a great deal of experience of caring for terminally ill people. She was a hospice volunteer and bereavement counsellor in California, and has been involved in caring for dying relatives. Out of this experience she has compiled a helpful guide to comfort and caring for people...

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Health Care Beyond 2000 -Reconciliation and Integrity Through Christ (Book Review)

World Congresses have been held by the International Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship (ICMDA) every 3-4 years since 1963. The last Congress was held in Durban, South Africa in 1998 and attended by over 1,000 doctors from 60 countries. 100 students from 20 countries met at the Student Conference in...

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Running for Revival (Book Review)

This biography of Harry (Henry Brash) Bonsall is written by his daughter who once lived with her ophthalmoIogist husband Murray in Afghanistan. It is recommended by George Verwer, International Director of Operation MobiIisation and has a foreword by Brother Andrew. Harry, born in Preston UK in 1905 into a godly...

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Babel's Shadow -Genetic Technologies in a Fracturing Society (Book Review)

If you want to update yourself with molecular biology and the implications of the human genome project, then this is the book for you. Pete Moore's name may be familiar as series editor of the CMF Files. He has a gift for making complicated technology easy to understand. The early...

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RevieWWWs with Cyberdoc

Jehovah Witnesses and Blood The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood (AJWRB) website is fascinating. It is written by some current Jehovah's Witnesses (including some serving elders) and others who have left. It has the feel of a secret society warning its members to be cautious as one brother...

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Go to the ant

It was early May, the traditional time for drilling wheat in our part of Australia. As the days passed everyone was getting noticeably more worried. Every time he'd go out Dad would cast an anxious eye heavenwards, but the skies remained monotonously clear as they'd done for the last four...

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