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Articles from summer 2017

Getting Conscience Right and Wrong

Can a doctor refuse to participate in something hefinds unconscionable? Is this an important liberty tobe safeguarded, or an unwarranted privilege whichinterferes with patient care? Must we leave ourconscience at the door of our professional life? These are some ofthe prescient questions currently being discussed in the medicalethics literature. It should...

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The Bleep Never Seems to Stop

You're with a sick patient in the Emergency Department and aren't sure how best to manage her. You've still got three specialty referrals to see, plus letters to dictate from yesterday's clinic. One of the junior doctors on your team seems to be struggling, and keeps asking for your help....

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Faith and Gratitude

'What have I got to do to say thank you and to serve?' These words, spoken by Cicely Saunders, led to the founding of St Christopher's Hospice 50 years ago.It is generally accepted that this was the beginning of the modern hospice and palliative care movement. Cicely had gone up to...

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Body: biblical spirituality for the whole person

This week I sat by the bedside of a morbidly obese woman from my congregation. She confessed that her weight was the result of overindulgence. And now her heart was failing. With our meeting still swimming round in my head, I returned home to hear one of my daughters struggling...

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Life Hurts: a doctor's personal journey through anorexia

Elizabeth McNaughtexplores the challengesof living with anorexiafrom a deeply personalperspective. As both a doctor anda sufferer she brings a balancedand insightful perspective to thisdifficult subject. She explores the complexunderlying causes and the consequencesof eating disorders onboth patients and their families.She identifies current issues withour mental health care system ina non-judgmental manner....

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Article

Why Gratitude is Good for you

'Congratulations on owning a new iPhone 6!' Right then, a gushing'congratulations' from the Apple call centre was the last thing I wanted to hear. With my beautiful new phone reduced to a sorry spider's web of cracked and splintered glass, forget congratulations - I wanted commiserations. And then I wanted answers....

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Mirror, Mirror

'Mirror, mirror on the wall, who in the land is fairest of all?' Mirrors are not a new invention.From the polished metal mirrors of 600 BC to the mirrors we have in our homes today, surfaces that reflect, that mirror, enable us to gaze at our own appearance. 'Mirrors' now...

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Communicating Faith in a Wired Society

We live in changing times.It is a biblical requirement that we seek to understand the times and be salt and light in the world we live in, rather than the world we wished we lived in, or the world we used to live in. One of the phenomenal changes in...

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The Machine Will See You Now

As a child growing up in the 1960s I was an avid reader of science-based predictions of the future. By the year 2000 hover-cars, colonies on the moon, free power through nuclear fusion and robot workers were all forecast. The problem for humankind would be how to fill the endless...

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Who Do You Think You Are?

We are taught to be confident. Patients need to trust our clinical judgment and they won't if we bracket it with our uncertainties. As doctors we are expected to lead by example. This means exuding an air of confidence and calm despite any panic running beneath the surface. From the...

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Book Reviews

The Great Mystery: Science, God and the human quest for meaning

I f you are looking for a confident, robust and unambiguous defence of Christian belief in the face of modern secularism, then McGrath's book may be the book for you‚ but not in the way you might expect. We are not observers, he says, looking on and describing what we...

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Assisted Suicide

Following very clear defeats of assisted suicide bills in the Westminster and Scottish parliaments in 2015, debate about this subject should be over for a decade or more - but it's not. So another book in the Talking Points series designed to help Christians think and talk about today's big...

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Lighting the Way: A handbook for Christian Nurses and Midwives

Lighting the Way brings Christian nursing essentials together in four sections. 'Identity' brings fundamental skills of Christian faith with discussions on prayer, church, character, and the important relationships in our lives with colleagues and family. 'On Call' merges Christian faith with professional nursing, topics on spiritual care, workplace culture and...

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Talking about dying: help in facing death & dying

Sex and politics have become mainstream,but death remains as the last subject which we do not talk about. That, according to the authors, 'simply will not do'. In reality, many people faced with life-limiting illnesses do want to talk, but are either afraid to or just do not know how...

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My Muslim Neighbour: Communicating well with your Muslim friend

Here is a very important book for any doctor or health professional who wants to share their faith with Muslim patients or neighbours. It's the fruit of a career-long commitment of a doctor who lived and worked in several Muslim countries, then practised in a mostly-Muslim English inner-city context. The author's...

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A Better Story: God, sex and human flourishing

I f you read one book this year, there is none more timely and needed than this one. In A Better Story CMF member and former Professor of Psychiatry Glynn Harrison contends that we are failing to meet the challenges of the sexual revolution through our lack of critical thinking...

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Editorial

Troubled times?

The rollercoaster journey of the last twelve months has left many UK citizens feeling dislocated and anxious about the future of our country. Political events - Brexit, Trump, a snap general election,a hung parliament, confidence and supply arrangements and the Queen's speech - have laid bare deep divisions between old and...

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Eutychus

Eutychus

Grey crime wave Where are the present-day John Howards and Elizabeth Frys? Few would disagree that our prisons are a festering problem. A Guardian 'Long Read' has drawn attention to an issue that largely goes unnoticed, though CMF members serving as prison doctors are well aware of them. The demographics of...

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Final Thought

What defines you?

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'Galatians 4:6 (New King James Version) Who do you think you are? The question can be a challenge, a put down, or an invitation into life transforming truth. It is a...

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News Review

BMA votes to decriminalise abortion

On Tuesday 27 June the British Medical Association (BMA) voted to support the decriminalisation of abortion throughout the UK. Delegates at the Annual Representative Meeting (ARM)in Bournemouth passed a six part motion by a two thirds majority. 1 1,500 doctors and medical students signed an open letter 2 urging the BMA...

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Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard was born in August last year and, after becoming unwell at eight-weeks-old, was diagnosed with MDDS (infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome), a rare and severe mitochondrial depletion disease. His condition is characterised by congenital deafness, severe epilepsy disorder and severe muscle weakness. His heart, liver and...

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Reforming the WHO

Overshadowed by the coverage of the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester in May, the British media largely missed the election of the new General Secretary of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (or Dr Tedros as he now styles himself). The former Ethiopian health minister became the first...

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Revised General Pharmaceutical Council Guidelines

In the Spring 2017 Triple Helix editorial 1 I reviewed the attempt by the pharmacists' regulator to force pharmacists to dispense drugs for what they consider to be unethical practices - such as emergency contraception, gender reassignment, abortion and assisted suicide. In December 2016 the pharmacy regulator,the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC),...

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