Seeing the Person behind the disability

Late in June, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) abolished the role of Disability Commissioner. This happened 36 hours before Lord Shinkwin, newly appointed to the role, was due to hold his first board meeting. Shinkwin explains that EHRC’s chair, David Isaac, had declared the role to be ‘redundant’. The rights of disabled people…

Why the rush to change blood donation deferral policies for commercial sex workers & men who have sex with men?

Commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Britain and Scotland are to be allowed to donate blood three months after they last had sex (see also here, hereand here). The rule changes will come into force at blood donation centres in Scotland in November and in England in early 2018. The Government accepted the recommendations…

College climbs down over ban on Christian doctors and nurses training in sexual and reproductive health

Doctors and nurses wishing to practise in sexual and reproductive health have been granted more liberty to exercise freedom of conscience under new guidelines published earlier this year. The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), a faculty of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), has relaxed its stance on conscience in new guidelines issued…

Ideology or Evidence (part two)? The battle over abortion statistics

Having blogged about the triumph of ideology over evidence in relation to the campaign in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland for presumed consent to organ donation, I can now report on a campaign where evidence triumphed over ideology. This one is in relation to the reporting and publicity of abortion outcomes. To give some background:…

Ideology or evidence? The battle over presumed consent to organ donation

The debate about changing the law on organ donation is one of a number of controversial issues where I believe that we are increasingly seeing see the triumph of ideology over evidence. A campaign to introduce ‘presumed consent’ to organ donation on death has been gaining momentum for some time and now similar legislation to…

Charlie Gard: Emotion has trumped trust in today’s society, but parents and professionals can work together

The tragic case of Charlie Gard, and the desperate efforts of his parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard to do everything to give him a chance of life have gripped the national and international media.  The case raises profound and troubling questions about the power of medical technology, the duties and responsibilities of doctors and…

Justine Greening’s transgender proposals are unscientific, dangerous & part of a greater social strategy

Men and women will be able to change their gender without a doctor’s report and amend their birth certificate accordingly under new government proposals. Yesterday Justine Greening (pictured), the education secretary and minister for women and equalities, said (£): ‘What we want to try to do is streamline the process, make it easier, de-medicalise it and make…

Why Boots chemist should not have capitulated to pressure from BPAS over emergency contraception

Over the weekend I waded into the debate on whether Boots should reduce the price of the so-called ‘morning-after pill’ and criticised the high street chemist for ‘capitulating in the face of political pressure’. Let me explain why. Boots had originally defied calls to slash the price of ‘emergency contraception’ – with its chief pharmacist saying it did…

Let’s not go back to Gin Lane – once again it’s time for government to rethink alcohol policy

‘History repeats itself.Has to.No-one listens’ Steve Turner It feels like déjà vu to once again see the headlines calling on the government to tackle alcohol related health problems.  A study from the University of Sheffield shows that up to 68,000 people will die from alcohol related liver diseases in the next five years unless action is…

Troubled times: Is God giving Britain over?

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 young, right and…

Brilliant Resources to help Christians engage with the General Election on 8 June

On 8 June the UK goes to the polls for the general election. Whoever assumes power will have a profound influence in shaping public policy in matters which affect us, our families, churches, patients and colleagues. Some claim that politics and religion should not mix – ‘We don’t do God’, famously said spin doctor Alistair…