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Articles from summer 2016

Integrity in research

Doctors don't tell lies, do they? Well, maybe a white one just occasionally. After all, not every patient wants to know they have inoperable cancer - at least, not straightaway. But in a research context, which is where I have spent much of my professional life, recording what really happens...

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Article

the nurse-physician relationship

The nurse-doctor relationship is changing. But there is still too much conflict and lack of collaboration; and much potential for quality improvement. Nurses are not alone in suffering from negative relationships at work. Female doctors, especially juniors, are given less assistance and respect by female nurses. We need to be...

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Exporting British healthcare expertise

Howard Lyons offers a personal viewpoint For many years now, successive British governments have been accused of trying to sell off or privatise the National Health Service. The Lansley Reforms introduced by the Coalition Government in 2012 were felt by some to be preparing the way for greater involvement of the...

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New template for the UK

Last year a landmark case changed how the UK law of consent is to be interpreted and applied. (1) The emphasis in decision making must be on partnership and shared decisions, not paternalism. Doctors who ignore or withhold information from their patients, even about a very small risk, may now...

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Robots and healthcare

Sitting in a comfortable armchair, Maureen is smiling. In her late 70s and with hair a silvery grey, Maureen's hand gently strokes what looks like a furry white seal beside her. 'You're a good boy aren't you?' she croons in a BBC video. (1) As the 'seal' makes a cooing reply,...

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Tackling global health inequalities

Why are so many people excluded from healthcare? Being poor and disadvantaged is generally recognised as being 'bad for your health.' (1) The WHO Global Health Observatory (2) website displays striking differences in healthcare coverage according to country, education and poverty. But there are many other important reasons for exclusion...

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Gospel mission and medicine

It all started when a Maasai pastor requested a medical team to come to Kenya to build on evangelistic work done by Cambridge-based charity Through Faith Missions (TFM). I agreed to go on one condition: that the focus must be split equally between mission and medicine. So Evangelistic Medical Missions...

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Rediscovering a ministry of health

The role of nurses as part of the ministry of the local church is nota new idea. It has been practised in the UK in one form or other since the start of the church and later by 'Bible Nurses'. However, with the advent of the NHS, the UK church...

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eutychus

WHO seeks new Director General Eutychus notes that the search is underway for a new Director General of the WHO. The appointee will be elected at the WHO Assembly in May 2017, succeeding Margaret Chan who's been in the job for ten years. Despite many commendable achievements, Chan's administration attracted...

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help with learning to walk

Treating children with muscle tone issues can mirror God's compassion says Peter Sidebotham. As a paediatrician, I am often referred young children who are delayed in their development, including those who are slow in learning to walk. This may just be a mild developmental delay, the child taking time to acquire...

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Book Reviews

A yak in the fridge

The title alludes to the author's research into altitude sickness, involving storing yak hearts in the kitchen refrigerator. It's one episode in a compelling account of a medical career devoted to Nepal. The author and his family went there in 1969 with BMMF (now Interserve) to work with the United...

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Emotions

'Emotions are unimportant' or so I once famously remarked as a somewhat naive medical student, probably in reaction to what I perceived as excesses in the opposite direction. God soon disabused me of this notion through a variety of interesting circumstances, but this book would have been really helpful at...

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The amazing technicolour pyjama therapy

Emily Ackerman was working as a doctor when she developed ME and switched from physician to patient. Her story is humorously told through prose and cartoons (which are very funny, by the way). This book aims to help those facing life-changing illness to fight back and draw close to God...

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The worry book

Jesus told us not to worry. But many Christians do, and then feel guilty as well. This excellent book offers practical tips for sufferers. Written by a sympathetic pastor and psychiatrist, it's full of helpful illustrations and biblical application. For instance, do you recognise the rocking chair of worry, which...

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The unicyclist, the vicar and the paediatrician

As a Christian doctor, a keen cyclist and having previously ridden the 1,000 miles from Land's End to John O' Groats, I felt adequately qualified to do this review. The book is written by a Christian Paediatrician, Peter Sidebotham, who tells the story of his 16-year-old son, Joe, as they...

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Openness unhindered

This book certainly lives up to its name as a former lesbian activist turned Christian author, homemaker, mother and wife shares her life experience and wisdom with a remarkable balance of openness and integrity. She comes across as honest without being in any way sensationalist as she writes about issues relating...

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Mindful of the light

I found this to be an extremely helpful book. It makes a vital contribution to the important area of mental health and spirituality. The material has developed out of a series of talks that the author presented in various settings and this helps make the writing very readable. There is...

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Editorial

When the foundations are being destroyed

'When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?' (1) We live in times when the very foundations of our civilisation are being destroyed: the NHS with its burgeoning needs and shrinking budgets, mounting national debt, political and economic uncertainty following 'Brexit', the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, creeping...

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News Review

Life is the gift of God...

In May it came to light that for many years the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been inextricably linked with the leading provider of abortions in the UK, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). (1) So much so that Cathy Warwick, the RCM's CEO is also the Chair of...

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Death of a 20-year-old

What a tragedy. Another episode in the seemingly relentless advance of assisted suicide. This time a 20-year-old Dutch woman, a survivor of sexual abuse, persuaded doctors to administer a lethal injection. She reasoned that her life was untenable and death the only way out. UK press reports said her symptoms...

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A call to arms

A recent report from the Oasis Trust (1) presented a challenge to the government, public sector and the church to work more closely and creatively together on providing services. A report from the Cinnamon Trust last year (2) showed that faith groups make a major contribution to all aspects of...

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BMA retains opposition to assisted suicide

On 21 June the Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Belfast voted against going neutral on assisted suicide by a two to one majority. (1) Delegates rejected motion 80, 'that this meeting believes that the BMA should adopt a neutral stance on assisted dying', by 198...

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