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Articles from Easter 2010

Article

(Un)employment - the long and the short

Back in 2005, the British Medical Association warned about the threat of unemployment facing junior doctors due to increasing competition for training posts. (1) Added to this came the news in 2006 that doctors trained outside the EU would require a work permit to work in the UK, thus severely...

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Drugs & alcohol: why should we care?

1. Why as doctors we should care about substance misuse It is common At medical school it perhaps seemed that esoteric syndromes were the key areas to study (linked to their significance in examinations). Substance misuse was barely mentioned yet in the working lives of many doctors across a wide range of...

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Where is God in Haiti?

It's so unfair. My children live in a comfortable house, eat three meals a day and have a friendly GP down the road – though they rarely need him. Today, thousands of children in Haiti are living in shelters made of cardboard and cloth, eat once a day if they...

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abortion requests: should we 'refer'?

Over the years Triple Helix has considered the vexed question for GPs of handling abortion requests. In 2003 Liz Walker and Huw Morgan discussed 1 the following real life case: 'Jenny is 15 and thinks she may be pregnant. After talking and examining her you establish that she is around...

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MDG 5 - saving the lives of mothers

MDG 5 Millennium Development Goal 5 aims to improve maternal health, and has two targets: 1. to reduce maternal mortality by 75% between 1990 and 2015 2. to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 The two key indicators for monitoring the progress towards the first target...

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Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

In March 1993 David Lipskind, a Jewish Israeli Army reservist, was attacked at a bus stop in Nazareth by two Arabs wielding knives. Stabbed repeatedly, he staggered across the road and called out 'Brother – brother – help – I'm wounded!' His cry was heard by Tewfik Sheikh Sliman, a...

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Book Reviews

Test of Faith Spiritual Journeys with Scientists

I was not expecting this to be the read it was, despite being a scientist of sorts – well, aren't all medics? I am easily confused by complex scientific concepts and I expected to be confused. However, this is not so much a book of science as a book of...

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Travelling Light Daily Bible meditations for student electives

Travelling Light is a daily Bible meditation containing a mixture of thoughts, readings and stories from doctors, nurses and students who have spent time abroad. It is split into weekly chunks under headings including 'Hope', 'Reliance on God', 'Dealing with death, suffering and inadequacy' and 'Rising above the day to...

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Is Faith Delusion?

Andrew Sims, CMF member and former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and professor at Leeds, considers the question: is faith delusion? He presents the evidence concerning religion and mental health and explains why it is not. Ranging widely, he includes a chapter on the history of psychiatry that...

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Matters of life and death Human dilemmas in the light of the Christian faith

This substantially updated second edition examines ethical dilemmas at the beginning and end of life. Written by a Christian professor of ethics and perinatology, the philosophical, theological, legal and medical aspects of these issues are discussed in a real-world setting. The book starts with reviews of well-known UK medical cases that...

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Choosing Life, Choosing Death The Tyranny of Autonomy in Medical Ethics and Law

Charles Foster concedes: 'In many ways this book is utterly trite. It states something that is obvious – that medical law and ethics, dealing with the whole of the immensely variegated human condition, needs to listen to other principles as well as autonomy.' Yet this book is an important challenge...

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Defying Disability The lives and legacies of nine disabled leaders

This book examines nine high-profile disabled people and how their achievements influenced British disability politics over the last 40 years. It provides remarkable insight into those disabled lifelong with a range of conditions. As a disabled doctor, I anticipated a source of inspiration, yet struggled with this book and only...

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Child sexual abuse and the churches Understanding the issues

This author pulls no punches in tackling tortuous and challenging issues in this updated edition of his 1997 book. An Australian law professor specialising in child protection, he shows remarkable insight into these intensely painful areas of human experience, from the perspectives of child victims, adult survivors, family members, church...

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I could do that!

These compelling stories, modestly written, demonstrate how Christian doctors, nurses and midwives have followed God's prompting and made important contributions to the health of the communities they have gone to serve. Probably none of them had any idea where their obedience would lead, but the stories describe their progress and...

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Editorial

God and politics - how will you vote?

'We don't do God', said spin doctor Alistair Campbell. 'Keep religion out of politics' proclaimed Australian opposition leader Mark Latham. (1) A Google search on 'Keep God out' brings up 99,600,000 references with California, Canada, Haiti, Irish law, public affairs, government, our democracy, stem cell research and football all prominent....

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ethics

Assisted suicide: 'compassionate' killing?

Assisted suicide is once again in the media spotlight thanks to the high profile prosecutions of Kay Gilderdale and Frances Inglis, continuing controversy around the activities of Philip Nitschke (Exit) and Ludwig Minelli (Dignitas), and celebrity endorsement by authors Terry Pratchett and Martin Amis. So much so that both MPs...

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Eutychus

eutychus

Skin cells to brain cells? With dementia and degenerative neurological diseases driving demand for euthanasia and assisted suicide, encouraging research has shown that 20% of skin cells from mice tails could be reprogrammed into neural cells. Lead researcher Marius Wernig described their surprising success as 'one of those high-risk, highreward projects'....

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Final Thought

Guided to my destination

In all the frenzied media debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide, the question of what lies beyond death is almost never raised. Thirty years ago, CMF's best selling book was published posthumously. 1 Its concluding passage is immensely relevant. A young family doctor, James Casson died of a malignancy in...

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Juniors

Should I STAY or should I GO?

Should I stay or should I go? A question that may sound familiar to many junior doctors, and one that may be lurking at the back of your mind. No, I'm not referring to the song by The Clash; I mean that big question you ask yourself about practising medicine...

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News Review

spiritual care standards in the NHS - England and Northern Ireland lag behind

This January a consultation closed about standards and competencies for spiritual care delivery in the NHS in Wales. Final standards and guidelines should be out soon. Several Christian organisations (including Healthcare Christian Fellowship, Christian Nurses and Midwives (1) and Evangelical Alliance) made submissions, and most agreed the only real deficit...

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funding health and social care - who pays and how?

The rising costs of health and social care are an ever present but rarely acknowledged background to the end-of-life debate raging at the moment, and with the General Election expected on 6 May, the debate about social care funding has become particularly heated. Eighteen charities including Carers UK, Age Concern and...

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Umbilical cord blood stem cells - we told you so

In January 2008 CMF welcomed a new bill which encouraged the donation at childbirth of umbilical cord blood and its storage for public use, (1) and called on the government to invest more actively in developing the NHS cord stem cell bank. MP David Burrowes' Umbilical Cord Blood (Donation) Bill (2)...

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The Robin Hood tax - practical and just

A high profile campaign was launched in February to levy a 0.05% tax on all major bank transactions (currency trading, share dealing, derivatives, etc). This would raise tens or even hundreds of billions towards international development, supporting poorer nations in reducing carbon emissions, and sustaining UK public services in health,...

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