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triple helix: winter 2001

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Virginity - Government's rediscovery of its value is welcome

It's official! '£60m MESSAGE: VIRGINS ARE OK' proclaimed the Evening Standard recently, reporting on the Government's latest advertising offensive to try and reduce the number of teenage pregnancies in Britain (which currently exceeds 90,000 per annum). 'There is nothing embarrassing about being a virgin' one sixteen year-old claimed in the...

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The Human Rights Act and PVS - Not a blind bit of difference

The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on 2 October 2000, having had effect in Scotland before. Article 2 states: 'Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally...' and then makes well-recognised exceptions...

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Gene screening for insurance - Both necessary and reasonable

Gene testing is set to become routine for all large insurance policy applications. Lessons learned from HIV-related fraud suggest it as the way forward however undesirable the risks of creating a genetic underclass. Both the Genetics Advisory Commission and the Association of British Insurers support gene test results being given...

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RU-486 - Deception and corruption we haven't heard the last of

The US Food and Drugs Administration has recently approved the use of Mifepristone (RU-486) to procure abortions up to 49 days gestation (BMJ 2000; 321;851). RU-486 was developed by the French drug company Roussel Uclaf, a subsidiary of Hoechst. Hoechst was itself derived from IG Farben, the chemical giant who...

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European Employment Directive - Erodes Christian liberties

The European Employment Directive, proposed under Article 13 of the Treaty of Amsterdam, was signed on 17 October 2000. The Directive prohibits any discrimination on the grounds of a person's religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or racial or ethnic origin. The proposals are wide ranging in their application...

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Abortion and Conscientious Objection

The abortion and conscientious objection debate was re-ignited this March when a CMF member was denied a general practice rotation because he refused to clerk patients for elective abortions. When asked, Dr Everett Julyan told the interview panel that he would neither prepare patients for nor perform abortions because of...

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Should cannabis be legalised?

Cannabis is the world's most widely used illegal drug. British school children have the highest (around 40 percent) and adults the second highest use compared with the rest of Europe.[1] About one in five 16-29 year olds have used it in the last year, one in eight within the last...

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Jesus on ward rounds

Mike Reynolds draws out four goals for the Christian doctor from Jesus' healing of the cripple in John 5 Many Christian doctors lose the enthusiasm their faith once had. It's easy to find ourselves just struggling to keep afloat. Faith may have little impact on work and the lives of those...

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Seize the day

Rob Parsons suggests ten principles about parenting that Christian doctors should both practice and preach. A friend of mine once told me that when he got married he had four theories of child-rearing and no children. 'Now I have four children and no theories,' he says with a rueful smile. One...

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Uganda Revisited

In 1972, as my hospital contract with the Uganda Government was ending, Idi Amin announced that British people in my position must leave within two weeks. My flight was already booked for that day and I flew out, heading for North Staffordshire, but saddened by what was happening to people...

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Eutychus

Conjoined twins separated The Maltese conjoined twins Jodie and Mary (Triple Helix 2000; Autumn:3-coming soon) were separated in a 20 hour operation in Manchester on 6-7 November, resulting in the death of the weaker twin Mary. The Court of Appeal judges had previously ruled that Mary's life could be killed...

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Near death experiences

I was moving headfirst through a dark maelstrom of what looked like black boiling clouds. I felt that I was being beckoned to the sides. That frightened me. Ahead was a tiny dot of bright light that steadily grew and brightened as I drew nearer. I became aware that I...

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RevieWWWs with Cyberdoc

Virginity In the light of Trevor Stammer's editorial, searching the web for articles on being a virgin might be seen as a risky business. Always the intrepid web explorer, I ignored links to Richard Branson's company, pages about Mary's perpetual virginity (whatever that is) and sites displaying explicit pornography. 'Virgin...

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Managing the Message: A tool kit for health service communicators (Book Review)

This is a brilliant book. Both authors have spent many years working at the interface of medicine and the media, and their experience overflows onto every page. This is an easy to read manual that not only teaches the reader how to communicate more effectively, but is also a wonderful...

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The Human Effect in Medicine: Theory, Research and Practice (Book Review)

The 'human effect' referred to in the title is, in effect, the placebo influence of the physician. The authors, both general practitioners, describe this effect particularly in the category of patient that makes up the bulk of general practice; those with chronic and incurable disease. Nevertheless, they state that a...

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All the Hours God Sends? (Book Review)

It is a reflection of the way the health service has changed that this book, whose author has worked in the oil industry for many years, is entirely relevant to health professionals. Concepts such as work place stress, down sizing, maintaining motivation and seeking excellence are now all part of...

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Prayers for Health and Healing (Book Review)

Have you ever been prevented from praying with a patient through fear of sounding trite or appearing not to understand their pain and suffering? Or have you ever been asked as the 'health professional' in your church to contribute to a service? If you have, then you might have found...

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Letters

The Status of the Embryo Rev Chris Cook, Professor of Psychiatry at University of Kent at Canterbury, remains unconvinced that embryos should be accorded the unequivocal status of 'human being'. Peter Saunders' HFEA submission on the status of the human embryo (Triple Helix 2000; Autumn:12-13) helpfully summarises some of the arguments in...

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Feeling disappointed?

The airmail letter came from a successful applicant for a grant, enabling him to attend an ICMDA conference. 'Please pray for those who have not received bursaries,' he wrote. 'They could feel bitter or resentful, which would spoil the fellowship.' It seemed that this group of young believers still needed...

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