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Articles from summer 2009

Article

CMF at 60 - back to the future?

The older I get the more vivid is my recollection of things that never happened. (Mark Twain) The problem with looking back in time is that it is almost as inexact a science as predicting the future. Even if accurate records are available, it is an enviable skill (not...

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Adoption - not just a calling for the childless

In the UK, at least 72,000 children and young people are looked after by the state on any given day. (1) Of these, 51,000 (71%) live with temporary foster families (often moving from placement to placement), and in England alone, 6,500 children are living in children's homes which include secure...

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'The great physician'

Jesus is sometimes referred to as 'the great physician', but clearly his medical practice was quite different from ours. He had almost no effective drugs to call upon, surgery was extremely primitive and, in our terms, he was untrained. Clearly none of that would have made any difference to him....

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MDG 6 - HIV, TB and malaria

Triple Helix has previously highlighted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (1), eight key commitments made by 192 member countries of the United Nations to address global poverty, with explicit targets to be achieved by 2015 (2). With six years left to that deadline, the next three editions of Triple Helix...

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Exodus 21 and abortion

What does the Bible say about termination of pregnancy? Those in favour of a legal right to elective termination often argue that 'the Bible is silent on the subject of abortion (1). 'The word "abortion" does not appear in any translation of the Bible! (2) Nevertheless, it is a mistake...

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Taking time out

'I've always wanted to work abroad but…' is a phrase I often hear from junior doctors who have moved from the carefree days of student electives into the harsh realities of postgraduate training and the Modernising Medical Careers system. Many have the impression that time out to work in developing...

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Book Reviews

Crying for the light

Depression is a common problem and can present particular challenges for Christians, being viewed by some as evidence of weak faith, unconfessed sin or demonic activity. Veronica Zundel has long experience of depression and writes from a Christian perspective. Crying for the Light is 'not a self-help book, a medical...

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Animal Rights, Human Responsibilities

This short booklet is part of the Grove Ethics Series which aims to provide 'fast moving explorations of Christian life and ministry'. As a practising vet who also teaches at the Veterinary School in Cambridge, David Williams draws on a wealth of experience in tackling questions about the Christian view...

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Learning to be the patient

CMF member Hazel was a GP, police surgeon, and a doctor at a local hospice; someone full of energy and outside interests; a Christian, a wife, and a mother. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 50. This book stems from her journal, mixing narrative and reflection...

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Self Harm

This is a self help book which is practical and uses real life examples to good effect. The first section addresses 'What is self harm and how does it develop?' The authors explain the role of emotions and explain why some people deal with intense emotions by self harming. They...

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Caring for Hindu Patients

This book does 'exactly what it says on the tin'! It is clear, well presented, simple, concise and practical. The book will help all health professionals care for their Hindu patients. The contributors come from varying perspectives: Hindu and Muslim, medical and non-medical, and primary and secondary care. I found...

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Pictures in AIDUcation

The author writes from two decades' experience responding to the AIDS crisis in his native Zambia, in Botswana, and most recently in the UK. During that time, as well as caring for and treating affected individuals and families, he has also been actively developing a strategy for educating whole communities...

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AIDS: I'm Not at Risk, Am I?

Now in its third imprint, the Thomas's book was written to answer the many questions and concerns they have responded to in the course of two decades of ministry around the world. Aimed at the lay reader, including the worried well, the bereaved, those living with HIV and AIDS, and...

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Planetwise

A number of books have been published recently, rightly responding to the fact that Christians have not taken their responsibility towards God's earth seriously. Planetwise is a new contribution by Dave Bookless, a vicar and director of A Rocha UK, a Christian environmental movement. The first half is a biblical...

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Editorial

Assisted suicide: amendment defeated

On 7 July the House of Lords rejected by 194 to 141 a change in the law on assisted suicide. (1) Lord Falconer's amendment 173 to the Coroners and Justice Bill would have exempted from investigation and prosecution those who help terminally ill people to travel abroad to seek assisted...

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Eutychus

Eutychus

eutychusJewish Medical Ethics This classic by former Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits was published 50 years ago, and a BMJ review brings pithy reminders of priorities: '…we speak of human duties, not of human rights, of obligations not entitlement. The Decalogue is a list of Ten Commandments not a bill of Human...

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Final Thought

Why DID I join CMF?

I was challenged by the penultimate paragraph in Andrew Brown's article (p6-7). Reviewing 60 years of CMF, he wonders why more Christian doctors don't join? It was 1976. I'd been a Christian four years, was doing my house surgeon job in the sticks, and a consultant physician there was a...

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Juniors

Making the most of our time

Making the most of our timejuniors' forumKaty Barker on busynessThe past year has seen a lot of changes for me. In twelve months there have been: one set of exams, two job applications, three job rotations, more night shifts and on-calls than I wish to count, small groups, CMF, church,...

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Letters

Friend of 'sinners'?

Friend of 'sinners'? Thank you for publishing Dewi Hughes's thoughtful article on harm reduction strategies. His theological view is refreshingly practical and much needed, addressing useful examples from my field of work: sexual health. It sometimes feels there is no area of medicine more likely to call forth criticism from...

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News Review

Swine flu

Reports of illness caused by the novel virus, influenza A/H1N1v, known as swine flu, first emerged in Mexico in April. On 11 June, the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert to Phase 6, indicating that a global pandemic is underway. This reflects the fact there are now...

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Abortion advertising on TV?

Back in March I went to a local BMA meeting to submit some motions for the ARM (annual representatives' meeting) on 29 June-2 July. At the time there was media coverage of a potential relaxation of advertising rules that could see abortion providers advertising on TV. So I wrote a...

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Spirituality in the NHS

The case of Caroline Petrie, a community nurse suspended for asking a patient if she wanted prayer, hit the headlines in January and created a national and international storm. (1) It prompted Bernadette Birtwhistle and others to table motions at the BMA ARM recognising the importance of spiritual care, (2)...

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Organ Donor Campaign

In polls, 90% of the public say they support organ donation, but far fewer are actually on the NHS Organ Donor Register - by this July the number was only 27% of those eligible (although up from 20% in the last year). (1) The Organ Donation Task Force concluded in...

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