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triple helix: autumn 2000

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Jodie and Mary

The birth of Siamese twins has always been a topic of popular fascination. In a previous age such births were usually interpreted as a supernatural event. They were variously seen as signs of blessing or warning, a portent for the future, or a judgment of past wrongs. In our enlightened...

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Therapeutic Cloning

This autumn the British Government is expected to become the first in the world to endorse therapeutic cloning. MPs and peers will vote on extending the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act to adopt the proposals of the Donaldson Committee report; allowing scientists to clone stem cells from human embryos. ...

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The NHS Plan

It is probably true that a nation gets the healthcare it deserves, but does Britain deserve new Labour's NHS plan? 'A plan for investment, a plan for reform' is the subtitle for the proposals that are envisaged to restore the NHS to the healthcare system the world most envies. The...

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No Information is Unaffected by Bias

The Family Planning Association has issued a new six-page booklet, Abortion - just so you know, that aims to help readers understand more about abortion. But does it? The text is clear enough. It is sometimes entertaining, supported by semi-humorous sketches. It gives statistical information, like the number of terminations...

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Revalidation for Missionary Doctors

Mission doctors do not need to fear revalidation and may find the process helps them in applying for or maintaining registration in their host country. Dr Andrew Fergusson (previous CMF General Secretary) and I recently had the opportunity to discuss the consultation document about revalidation Ensuring standards, securing the future...

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Gene Genies?

A new era of cancer treatments,vaccines, personalised pills,extended lifespan and treatments for genetic diseases?The June announcement by the Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics that they had deciphered the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome has been hailed as altering the whole basis of medicine. Perhaps,but we need to be...

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Are Transsexuals Born That Way?

Only about 5% of cross-dressers,or transvestites,have any desire to be the opposite sex,but those who do are often convinced they are trapped in the wrong body.[1] One in thirty thousand of the population is transsexual,with more men than women being affected.To meet their demands, ten thousand sex-change operations have been...

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Brave New Postmodern NHS

I can claim little more than an amateur's interest in the contemporary shifts in culture that surround us as we enter the twenty first century. Having spent twenty years in Inner-City General Practice and sixteen of those involved in education and training, however, I do feel able to comment on...

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The Status of the Embryo

From a Christian perspective, the moral status of the embryo is one of the key pressure-points in ethical debates about post-coital contraception, therapeutic cloning, preimplantation diagnosis, and artificial reproduction. The issue, which has profound implications for our practice as doctors, has divided Christians for centuries and remains controversial within CMF.[1,2,3,4,5]...

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Hallmarks for Healthcare

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the law? How do you read?' And he answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,...

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Eutychus

Discriminatory diplomacy? Doctors who have a conscientious objection to prescribing post-coital contraception or IUCDs that act after fertilisation will no longer be able to obtain the Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP) of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. According to the College's October 1999 Guidelines, while 'doctors...

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Sustainable Development

'You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last.' (John 15:16) The idea of 'sustainable development' has become an indispensable justification for modern missions working with an aid agenda. But what is meant by 'sustainability'? Is it biblically significant?...

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RevieWWWs with Cyberdoc

Cyberdoc reviews cloning online... The material about cloning on the CMF website can be located either through their site index or the ethics homepage, by following the genetic link. Included is their 1998 submission on ‘Cloning issues in reproduction, science and medicine’ to the Human Genetics Advisory Forum (HGAC) and Human...

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The Coming of the Rain (Book Review)

This excellent book is a biography of Dr J E ('Joe') Church (Cambridge &St Bartholomew's Hospital), who worked as a missionary in Rwanda and Uganda, and was at the heart of the East African Revival from its inception in 1929 when he met a Ugandan, Sitneoni Nsibambi. The two of...

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Relationships in the NHS - Bridging the Gap (Book Review)

Michael Schluter of the Relationships Foundation writes in the foreword to this book: 'Partnership, collaboration, involvement,' joined-up 'government: the language of relationships pervades current health policy and practice. The complexity and uniqueness of any relationship means that the reality of this rhetoric must involve more than motherhood and apple pie.' ...

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Cancer's a Word, Not a Sentence (Book Review)

This is an excellent book to have handy in the surgery to give out when appropriate. Its strength is that it is written sensitively by someone who really understands the cancer journey,who can lift the mystery of medical jargon and help reduce the level of fear experienced by those affected...

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Six Modern Myths (Book Review)

This is a very important book. The author cogently argues that behind the six most common areas where Christians are criticised, there has been much misinformation, some of which has been deliberate. It has been popularly said that the church in the middle ages was anti-science and suppressed the research...

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Sinking Slowly

Hot. Smelly. Busy. Expensive. Such were my friends' recollections of Venice. Not mine, however. I had visions of tall, ramshackle brightly coloured buildings teetering elegantly on stilts above the cool, clear water of quiet, meandering canals. The rose tinted memories of an eager ten year old perhaps (some 20 years...

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