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Articles from Spring 2020

Article

Personhood & Ageing

We live in a culture in which to age is to fail. We prize education and disregard wisdom. We value potential, celebrate achievement, but despise experience. We pour love, energy and resources into younger generations, helping them grow to independence, and dreading the day when we might become dependent on...

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Ageing & Frailty

The biblical narrative is unclear about the functional status of many of the Old Testament heroes. However, becoming old and frail does not seem to be part of God's blueprint. In Genesis, he created man and woman to be companions to each other and himself. They were meant to live...

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Retirement & Old Age

'It is a truth universally acknowledged', that 'the only two certainties in life are death and taxes.' So might a book by Jane Austen have begun had she written a novel on either subject. However, while death is inevitable regardless of age, old age is the preserve of fewer, although increasing...

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An African Journey

'If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together'. African proverb Maria: a recent case story Maria is seven and the second youngest of eight children born to two schoolteachers, a middle-class Ugandan family. She was a vivacious child and very popular with her siblings and...

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A Call to Christocentric Ethics

The environment has been much in the news recently. David Attenborough has raised the profile of many problems, including single-use plastic and the climate crisis. The school climate strikes and Extinction Rebellion demonstrations brought climate change and environmental issues to the newspaper front pages. But what is the science behind...

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Psychiatry & the Great Commission

Last year Christian psychiatrists met for a CMF day conference to explore this question. The theme was 'Psychiatry and the Great Commission'. The Great Commission in Matthew 2 tells us to 'go and make disciples of all nations'.[1] As healthcare providers, we are in a privileged position to advocate for the...

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Compassion without Burnout

For many centuries medical care was an expression of the love of God, a ministry of the church. However, the Enlightenment ushered in the dominant idea that knowledge was king: spiritual care was no longer foundational. Education separated science and the humanities and medicine no longer needed the 'softer' touch....

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Book Reviews

Reviews

Dementia from the Inside A Doctor's personal journey of hope Dr Jennifer Bute with Louise Morse SPCKPublishing, 2018, £9.00, 116pp, ISBN: 9780281080694 Reviewed by David G Smithard, Visiting Professor, University of Greenwich and Consultant Geriatrician This small book provides a rare insight into the onset and progression of dementia. The first seven pages...

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Editorial

Where next with Triple Helix?

No organisation can exist without considering changes to its structures and ways of working. Central to any organisation is communication with its members. CMF has had multiple ways of doing this over the years, including its various journals. Triple Helix was originally going to be called Rx, but the Sunday...

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Eutychus

Eutychus

Altruism makes you less susceptible to pain According to The Times, we should forget painkillers and do something kind instead, after a study at Peking University showed that cancer patients experienced less chronic pain when they helped to care for others on the same ward. Experiments also showed that healthy subjects...

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Final Thought

Disturbing the Peace

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. (John 12:3) We are very goal orientated in the health professions at times. That's not a bad thing, but as resources get squeezed, and workloads go...

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Juniors

Self-care as a Medic

It was some years ago now when I noticed that mental health support was almost non-existent in my medical school. I had gone through a rough patch of failing exams, and I was wondering if medicine was actually what God was calling me to. My medical school, unfortunately, didn't enquire...

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News Review

Assisted suicide

Pressure continued for the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the UK, with a very public campaign and recently calling for a Government inquiry into the law on assisting suicide. [1] There have been two debates in Parliament calling for an inquiry into the current law and David Gauke,...

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Medical litigation

The BBC recently found that the National Health Service receives around 10,000 clinical negligence claims each year and currently expects to pay £4.3bn for these. This sum is a significant chunk of the total NHS budget, which was £129bn in 2018-19. [1] The amounts involved are growing. In 2017 the National...

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Transgender on trial

In March this year judges gave permission for Keira Bell, and a woman known as 'Mrs A' to bring a case against the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. Bell is a former patient of the clinic. Born female, she had a long-term desire...

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Challenging discriminatory abortion laws

Heidi Crowter, a young woman with Down's syndrome, is taking out a landmark case against the UK Government over its current abortion law, which allows abortion up to birth for Down syndrome. [1] Arguing that both the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [2] and the Disability Rights...

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