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Author: CMF

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Opening up the interface of Christian faith, medicine, nursing and health.
78 Episodes
Vaccine hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy


Vaccines are very much in the news at the moment, but they have been around for over a hundred and fifty years. They may have done more to transform health than any other single measure other than access to clean water during that time. Yet there has always been a suspicion in part of the population that vaccines are not a good thing, varying from concern and hesitancy to outright opposition. And very often Christians have been at the forefront of this opposition. Why is that? What are the causes of vaccine hesitancy and scepticism, how have they manifested down the years, and what can we do to tackle them?In a conversation with Annika Wilder-Smith and Laurence Crutchlow, Steve Fouch explores these questions.Laurence has written a CMF File on Vaccines which can be downloaded from the CMF website, while Annika has published a paper on the resurgence of measles in Europe and the link to vaccine hesitancy in the Journal of Epidemiological and Global Health.Support the show (
The front of the frontline of the NHS is the ambulance service. They are the first responders, on the scene dealing with incidents up and down the country. With COVID-19 adding to the usual pressures they face this winter, the pressures on these skilled crews is greater than at any time.Last November, in the midst of the second lockdown in England, I spoke with Simon King, founder of the Christian Ambulance Association (CAA) about being a Christian in the ambulance service, and the challenge of helping Christians working there to connect with and support one another. This interview was conducted before the height of the winter pressures and the third lockdown in January.To find out more about CAA, visit their website at CAA UK - Home, and you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.Support the show (
Human dignity

Human dignity


We all like to feel that we are seen as being of worth and value to others - that we are appreciated and treated with dignity and consideration. In medical literature and the social sciences, the idea of human dignity has become very prominent. But what actually is 'dignity' - what determines if someone has dignity or not. Is dignity innate, or a something that is given. And if it is given, can it be taken away, and by whom and in what circumstances? Today we are talking with Jennie Pollock, author, thinker and CMF's Associate Head of Public Policy to discuss dignity as it is understood in the academic and medical world, and to explore a biblical alternative.Support the show (
COVID Vaccines

COVID Vaccines


In the last few weeks, we have been hearing some exciting news about vaccines for COVID-19, with at least three showing signs of being very effective at preventing infection and one now licensed for use here in the UK. Could this be the 'magic bullet' that will take us out of the COVID crisis? But is there another side to the story? Will everyone have access to a vaccine, and will all of those who have the chance actually take it? And are there ethical questions in how these vaccines have been produced? A lot of misinformation is out there, and it is easy to get confused or misled by false stories. To help us make sense of the news about COVID vaccines, I am talking to Dr Tim Jenkins, who has many years of experience working with viruses and the development of medicines and vaccinations. CMF is producing a range of resources to explore the issues raised in this podcast, so if you want to dig deeper, visit our COVID-19 resources page at the show (
This year, 2020, has been designated by the World Health Organization as the 'Year of the Nurse and the Midwife'. Nursing and midwifery are the backbones of most healthcare systems around the world, yet when surveyed they often seem a demoralised and undervalued part of most health services. On top of that, 2020 has been the year of COVID-19, and maybe, as a result, we have all seen a lot more of what nursing, in particular, is all about.In this episode, we talk with Georgie Coster,  CMF's Associate Head of Nursing & Midwifery Ministries, about the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, what the challenges are for Christians in the profession, what she has seen of nursing in other countries and why as a Christian she still think nursing is one of the best jobs in the world.CMF has a regular magazine for nurses & midwives - Spotlight, which you access for free at CMF Blogs have also looked at the issues faced by nurses and midwives, including the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. And CMF is part of a larger, international family of national Christian nursing associations - Nurses Christian Fellowship International - which is holding a World Congress online in 2021 for Christian nurses all over the world.Support the show (
Despite everything else in the headlines at the moment, climate change is still one of the biggest stories. It is a subject that evokes strong feelings. Many argue that there is no climate change and it is a grand hoax and a conspiracy; others claim it is a natural phenomenon and nothing to do with human activity, while others point out that the science is incontrovertible. Often this debate generates more heat than light.But often obscured by the debates is the worrying and very real impact that pollution and climate change are already having on health and the disproportionate way that these impacts are falling on the upon the poorest and most vulnerable parts of global society. In this episode, I will be talking with Sara Foot about why Christian health professionals should be concerned about the impact of climate change on health and the provision of healthcare and looking at some ways in which we can begin to address this. Sarah has written a CMF File that looks at all these issues in more depth - you can find this at For the science of climate change, see the IPCC site and for a healthcare perspective, Sustainable Healthcare and The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change sites.For a Christian perspective, see Ruth Valerio's 'Saying Yes to Life' and the website of A RochaSupport the show (
Workplace culture

Workplace culture


 We've all experienced this. You are sitting in the staff room, and someone starts to tell a story about a colleague, a patient or one of the managers, and before you know it everyone is sharing gossip. We even see this happening in churches, although here it is more likely to be called 'sharing prayer news'. Is this just harmless banter, or is there a more dangerous side to it? And how do we respond to gossipy situations without coming over as prim or moralistic?  In this episode of 1st incision, I am talking to Esther and Rachel, two of CMF's nursing and midwifery team, about how we can counter some of the negative aspects of workplace culture in a Christlike manner.Support the show (
In today's episode, we are going to look at the vexed issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia in conversation with Dr Paul Saba, a family physician from Montreal, Canada. Paul has actively fought to stop the legalisation of euthanasia in Canada for many years.In his latest book, 'Made to live' he passionately lays out the case for why euthanasia is an abandonment of patients at the end of their lives, and that instead of helping them to die, we should be helping them to live the best life they can until they die.You can read more about Paul's work and ministry at Support the show (
Mark Twain once said there are only two certainties in life; death and taxes. Caring for those nearing the end of life is an important part of healthcare and one that has come to the fore in recent months. In this edition, we are talking to Idris Baker about some of the issues and ethics in the care of people nearing the end of their lives, and in particular how COVID-19 has had an impact on that care.Support the show (
Over the last six months or so there has been an outpouring of love for the NHS and the staff who provide care and support to us. We've all be out there clapping and putting up rainbows in a sign of support and solidarity. But not everyone who is treated in the NHS or works in it has such a positive experience. The colour of your skin can determine how you get treated, both as a patient and as a member of staff. Many students and junior staff report experiences of bullying and harassment, often as a routine experience, especially if they come from an ethnic minority background. At CMF we hear stories from many of our members echoing this. So, is the NHS an institutionally racist organisation? How should we respond as Christians? In this edition, I am talking to Jonathan Makanjuola about the often hidden problem of racism, bullying and harassment within the national health service.Jonathan will be leading a seminar on racism, bullying and harassment in NHS and how as Christians we can make a stand for change at our Junior Doctors' Conference in October - see Support the show (
Over 4,000 people in the UK are in need of a kidney transplant. The kidney is one of the few organs that can be transplanted relatively safely from a live donor. But for the majority of those on the waiting list for a new kidney, the wait will depend on someone with healthy kidneys dying, and that wait can last years.Joseph Walsh has a story to tell about his own involvement with kidney transplantation, and we talk to him about why he thinks that Christians literally have something life-changing to give.You can find more about Joseph's website and links to related resources at and can read more about CMF's coverage of a wide range of issues related to organ donation on our blog at the show (
In our fortieth and final voices from the frontline, we talk to Audrey, an intensivist at a Glasgow intensive care unit. At the sharp end of dealing with COVID-19, she and her team have been working longer hours, with trainees and non-specialists taking on new roles caring for those most seriously affected by the disease. How have she and her team handled the remarkable circumstances in which they have found themselves in the last three months? How has she found Jesus amid this crisis?This is the last of our special series of voices from the frontline podcasts, but the first incision series continues, with a new episode going live next Friday, 29 May.For more information about CMF and our work and ministry, uniting and equipping Christian health professionals to live and speak for Jesus Christ, visit Support the show (
Esther is a community-based pharmacist, working closely with general practices. With social distancing and shielding, normal dispensing of medicines has changed considerably. What are the challenges, changes and stresses that pharmacy staff facing during lockdown. How is she finding spiritual support, and how can we pray for Esther and other pharmacists and frontline workers at this time.Esther is an active member of Christians in Pharmacy - a national network for Christians working in and studying all aspects of pharmacy - check out their Facebook Page and their website for more details and to get in touchSupport the show (
Rachael works in NHS prison general practice and is medical director of Integritas Healthcare, a Christian faith-inspired NGO working with detainees in the UK and overseas, particularly in the Philippines. How has COVID-19 affected detainees and prisons in the UK? How is it affecting the delivery of medical care in prisons in the Philippines? And how is she able to bring spiritual support and wholistic care to prisoners?You can find out more about the work of Integritas at https://integritas-healthcare.squarespace.comSupport the show (
Dr Janan works as a surgeon in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. His work involves regularly providing surgical care in refugee camps. Northern Iraq has been in lockdown since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in March, and it seems that the epidemic is under control there. But there is still a real concern that the coronavirus could still break out in the refugee camps, where hand washing and social distancing is not practical. With economic pressures, insecurities and concerns about infection spread, how can we support and pray for Janan and his teams working with refugees in the region?You can find out more about Dr Janan's organisation, HOME at to join us every day at 7 pm (BST/UTC+1) for #COVID1900Prayer, a chance to pray for health workers, our nation and the world as we respond to COVID-19Support the show (
Ben is a frontline paramedic, dealing with priority ambulance calls. He also helps lead a Christian fellowship group within the ambulance service, part of the Christian Ambulance Association. There have been increased pressures and opportunities since COVID-19 became a real issue, and it has changed his work, but also the network of support and prayer for frontline crews. How are Christian paramedics and ambulance staff responding in faith and hope to what God is doing in the midst of this pandemic?You can find out more about the Christian Ambulance Association at to join us every day at 7 pm (BST/UTC+1) for #COVID1900Prayer, a chance to pray for health workers, our nation and the world as we respond to COVID-19Support the show (
Sara is a family medicine doctor in Madrid, Spain. The country has been hit hard, especially in Madrid, and Sara has personal experience of surviving the virus. She has been actively involved in community-based care for COVID-19 patients and has been part of a wider research group looking at treating the disease outside of acute hospitals. How has COVID-19 affected how she prays and cares for her patients?Support the show (
Alice is a palliative care specialist. In a speciality that has always focused on touch, close personal interaction and open access visiting, COVID-19 and social distancing measures have totally changed the way that she is caring for the dying and the bereaved. It is taking a toll on her team as well as on dying patients and their families. As she goes into these difficult situations, how does her faith equip her to respond in such a time as this?Support the show (
Mental health is a big issue in the current crisis. Today we talk to Hans, a psychiatrist from Switzerland. Uncertainties about the illness, its effects on us and our loved ones, on our livelihoods, on everyday life, can all lead to anxiety and isolation. How can we cope with these strains on our mental health? Are there positive challenges and opportunities to be discovered in these situations?  You can find out more about ICMDA at and at our COVID-19 blogs at the show (
What about those who aren't on the COVID-19 frontline? Steve works at CMF and is a consultant neuro-rehabilitation specialist. He was due to go into partial retirement just as the lockdown began, and found himself at home with no clinical role and watching his colleagues putting their lives on the line to care for patients. How has this affected him? What is he doing now, and how are the non-COVID patients he sees dealing with the situation? It's not just some health workers who feel sidelined. And, in the midst of all of this, what does Steve hear God saying?You can read Steve's blog Sidelined? Or waiting for God’s time to serve?Support the show (
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