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ss nucleus - winter 2023,  beginnings


Hello! My name is Liz, and it is my absolute pleasure to be 'beginning my life' (hint, hint) and service as student editor of Nucleus. This is 'CMF's student publication — by students, for students', working with managing editor Laurence Crutchlow and the team to bring you news from the frontlines where faith and medicine meet — including stories from healthcare students like you!

Nucleus presents a low barrier to entry but high-quality support that students can capitalise on to make their voices heard. They can simply explore the myriad topics at the intersection of faith and medicine, as a means of equipping for Christ's service. Whether you are a precocious writer, a voracious reader, or one whose only written output/input is requisite for your successful completion of university, consider all that Nucleus has to offer as you begin your life as a healthcare student living and speaking (and writing!) for Jesus Christ.

If you haven't already guessed, this edition also centres around a beginning — specifically the beginning of life and its ethics; abortion, designer babies, and embryonic stem cells, to name a few. These issues in turn draw upon an even wider variety of ethical principles that we subscribe to — not only on the value of life and when it begins, but also on disability, justice, equality, mercy, the role of the law, and more.

The main articles of this edition touch on the recent development of whole genome sequencing (WGS) and the very current topic of abortion, in light of the overturning of Roe v Wade (2022), and liberalisation of abortion laws in Ireland (2018) and Northern Ireland (2019). Melody Redman and Francis Sansbury provide a snapshot of WGS, along with its challenges and controversies and how we might approach it through a Christian worldview. Laurence Crutchlow introduces the basic ethics around abortion and considers the practical questions that students may face. Paediatrician Catherine Morris shares her personal experience of abortion, the divergent responses she received from Christians, and the profound changes she has undergone since — and a reminder of God's call to us all. I attempt to explore lesser considered arguments of the abortion debate.

In our regular features, Bernard Palmer goes back-to-basics by reminding us, through anecdotes and Bible passages, of an essential part of our lives as Christians; to be workers for Christ wherever we are placed. Chris Borges Da Silva offers a close-up, specific example of when our perseverance as a worker for Christ may be acutely tested — and his personal tips to be prepared.

Ellie McBain regales us with stories from her trip to Eswatini for an elective — slices of life there, her main takeaways, and some handy tips. Julien van der Does, a doctor from France, reports on the annual Irish Conference in Athlone, run in collaboration with ICMDA Western Europe in late 2022. Finally, this edition wraps up nicely with some reviews: one on the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and several news reviews for some quick updates on diverse issues such as artificial intelligence, the aging population, and climate change.

Although the purpose of this edition is not to provide a comprehensive dissection on all issues surrounding the beginning of life, it will hopefully provide you with some fresh perspectives and practical insights on an age-old debate. And, hopefully, you will emerge from these pages just a bit better equipped to engage in a conversation or decision about faith and healthcare — going out into the world in courage [1] and peace [2] to live and speak the truth in love [3] for God's glory. May the Lord bless you and keep you in the months ahead.

Until the next edition.
Signing off,

1. Joshua 1:9

2. Isaiah 26:3

3. Ephesians 4:15

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