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first_imgFrank Furedi – The Australian 26 Nov 2011AS far as the American Academy of Pediatrics is concerned you can never drug children early enough. In their recently published guidelines they recommend that children as young as four can be treated with the psycho-stimulant drug Ritalin. These new guidelines issued by the academy at its annual conference in Boston proposed that preschool children who show symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity should be evaluated for pharmacological intervention. “Treating children at a young age is important, because when we can identify them earlier and provide appropriate treatment, we can increase their chances of succeeding in school,” was how Mark Wolraich, one of the authors of the guidelines, justified this proposal.The targeting of preschoolers by the academy is an integral part of a disturbing tendency to advocate medical and pharmaceutical intervention as a legitimate option for the management of childhood behaviour. The campaign, which has as its premise the conviction that children’s behavioural problems represent a marker for mental illness, implicitly assumed a coercive and intrusive form. In Australia, draft guidelines being considered by the National Health and Medical Research Council threaten parents who refuse to medicate children diagnosed with ADHD with being referred to child protection authorities.….It is important to realise that what drives the steady expansion of the diagnosis of ADHD among children is not the discovery of a hitherto unknown medical condition, but the cultural redefinition of some of the normal existential problems of childhood. In the eyes of the supporters of early-years medicalisation, virtually every manifestation of a child’s behaviour can be diagnosed as a medical issue. read more

first_imgSydney Morning Herald 29 Aug 2012Marriage really matters. Thank God we are talking about it. As Professor Patrick Parkinson said in these pages last week, marriage is ”by far the most stable, safe and nurturing relationship in which to raise children”. However, fewer people are choosing marriage as a way of relating to someone of the opposite sex and fewer people are nurturing children in a family with marriage at its heart.I can understand that. Individualism leaves us with little reason to join our life to that of someone else. Apart from that, for many marriage has become an arena of suffering, exploitation and disappointment. We choose to bypass it. Yet I would say that we need to go back to biblical principles and understand, improve and support marriage rather than abandon it.I freely admit that for me, the earthly title and vocation I cherish most is ”husband”. It all began with promises, and each day I try to live out the commitment I made. Marriage is not always easy and I know that for some it proves painfully impossible. But, mostly, making our promises before witnesses and trying to keep them is what works best.Public promises make a marriage. Marriages are founded on promises of lifelong, exclusive bonding. Provided that the promises commit both man and woman in good times and in bad ”till death do us part”, and that both intend to relate only to each other, the promises are effective in creating the marriage. Husband and wife can certainly make identical promises.But promises can reflect something even more profound. Since they unite not simply two people but a man and a woman – two different bodies for whom marriage holds different consequences, needs, expectations and emotions – the promises can express these differences, and traditionally have done so.Many of our young people want to be ”wives and husbands” rather than simply ”partners” and in their weddings they come as ”bride and groom” rather than simply two individuals. They believe that expressing these differences, including different responsibilities, makes for a better marriage.Both kinds of promise are provided for in the Sydney Anglican diocese’s proposed Prayer Book, which has been the subject of commentary this week.There is nothing new in this – it is the same as the Australian Prayer Book which has been used for decades.Where different promises are made, the man undertakes great responsibility and this is also the wording of the book, as it has always been. The biblical teaching is that the promise made voluntarily by the bride to submit to her husband is matched by the even more onerous obligation which the husband must undertake to act towards his wife as Christ has loved the church. The Bible says that this obligation is ultimately measured by the self-sacrifice of Christ in dying on the cross.This is not an invitation to bossiness, let alone abuse. A husband who uses the wife’s promise in this way stands condemned for betraying his own sworn obligations. The husband is to take responsibility for his wife and family in a Christ-like way. Her ”submission” is her voluntary acceptance of this pattern of living together, her glad recognition that this is what he intends to bring to the marriage and that it is for her good, his good and the good of children born to them. She is going to accept him as a man who has chosen the self-discipline and commitment of marriage for her sake and for their children. At a time when women rightly complain that they cannot get men to commit, here is a pattern which demands real commitment all the way.Secular views of marriage are driven by a destructive individualism and libertarianism. This philosophy is inconsistent with the reality of long-term relationships such as marriage and family life.Referring to ”partners” rather than husband or wife gives no special challenge to the man to demonstrate the masculine qualities which he brings to a marriage.Men have to accept the limitations imposed by a commitment to marry. Both husband and wife must exercise self-control and the acceptance of boundaries, although in ways which are somewhat distinctive. My greatest interest in the draft service the diocese has prepared is the high standard being proposed for men.When a husband promises to love his wife as Christ loved the church and give himself up for her, he is declaring his intention to be a man of strength and self-control for her benefit and for the benefit of any children born to them. Such qualities, properly exercised in the spirit of self-sacrifice, enhance the feminine and personal qualities of his wife.Each marriage and each era will work this out differently. It is in this context and this alone that the revised marriage service enables a woman to promise submission.Her submission rises out of his submission to Christ.It is a pity that the present discussion has been so overtly political. Instead of mocking or acting horrified, we should engage in a serious and respectful debate about marriage and about the responsibilities of the men and women who become husbands and wives. The Bible contains great wisdom on this fundamental relationship.The rush to embrace libertarian and individualistic philosophy means that we miss some of the key relational elements of being human, elements which make for our wellbeing and happiness. It’s time to rethink marriage from first principles. It really matters.Peter Jensen is the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney. read more

first_imgNZ Herald 29 May 2013Central government politicians have called a roundtable meeting in Wellington tomorrow to look for ways to control street prostitution in South Auckland.The meeting, called by Parliament’s local government and environment committee, may lead to amending or abandoning a bill drafted by the former Manukau City Council in 2010 to give what is now the Auckland Council power to ban street sex workers from areas such as Hunters Corner and Manurewa.Committee chairwoman Nicky Wagner said MPs did not want to change the law unless that would solve the problem.“Simple legislation is a pretty blunt instrument,” she said.“This has been in the Parliament for a long time. It has come and gone back and forth with the creation of the Super City. We are very aware that it has taken a long time and we know people are concerned about it.“But there is no point in us hurrying up with an answer that doesn’t work in the long term.” read more

first_imgLifeSiteNews 15 April 2014The British government has released statistics showing that while the teen pregnancy and abortion rates are dropping, the number of girls and women having repeat abortions continues to climb alongside steady increases in the use of artificial contraceptives.According to the Society for the Protection of Unborn Citizens, the statistics show that giving more contraceptives to young girls will lead to more abortions.According to 2012 figures for London alone, 16,323 women age 18-29 had abortions who had never had one previously. 7,817 of aborting women in London in the same age group had had one previous abortion. 149 had had four previous abortions and 22 had had six previously. Overall, the number of repeat abortions for England and Wales is about 37 percent in the latest figures.The government’s figures show that in general the abortion rate has dropped since 2010 but the number of repeat abortions has risen. In 2011, 36 percent of women undergoing abortions had one or more previous abortions. The 2011 report said that number has risen from 31 percent since 2001.The same 2011 report found that 96 percent of abortions were funded by the NHS and 61 percent of these were carried out in private facilities who bill the NHS.Health Minister Jane Ellison added that in 2012, of the 185,122 abortions performed on residents of England and Wales, none were allowed under Ground F, “to save the life of the pregnant woman.” read more

first_imgStuff 21 March 2015More children are being medicated for mental disorders than ever – with clinicians blaming the stress of being a modern-day teenager.The latest available figures, released to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act, show nearly 20,000 children and teenagers were on anti-depressants in 2013.The number has climbed every year since 2009, and early signs from last year suggest the increasing tendency to medicate mentally troubled kids will continue.The use of anti-psychotics, once reserved for severe psychosis, is also at record levels, being prescribed to treat everything from autism to sleeping difficulties.Anti-psychotics are even being used on a small handful of children under 4 to treat “severe behavioural difficulties”.A child health expert said the rise was partly down to improved access to drugs, but it also reflected a more anxious generation of children, who faced pressures unknown to their parents.Sue Bagshaw, a Christchurch clinician who studies and treats mentally ill youth, said children and teenagers today were more likely to have busy and separated parents, higher expectations of academic and social success, and were constantly being bombarded with information through online connected devices.“We are absolutely overloading them,” she said. read more

first_imgITV News 16 February 2016Family First Comment:  “We don’t want children to learn about sex and relationships through the warped lens of adult pornography – there are good reasons for restricting pornographic magazines and DVDs to adults which the NSPCC has long argued should apply equally online. The easy availability to children of online pornography, much of it extreme, violent and profoundly degrading, is of deepening concern. It can leave them feeling frightened, confused, depressed or upset.”  Exactly!Adult websites could be sanctioned if they don’t adopt age verification measures in a bid to stop children accessing internet pornography.How to keep your children safe from online pornA government consultation published today details plans to create a new regulatory frame-work to tackle the issue which campaigners say is of “deepening concern”.The paper warns while porn sites based in the UK are already required to have robust age controls in place, the most visited porn sites in the UK are actually based elsewhere.It says there is a “rationale for government intervention” as children would not be able to legally access this type of content in the offline world.1.4m   unique visitors under 18 accessed pornographic sites from their computer in May 201513%    of children aged 6-14 visited a pornographic site in May 201520%    of children aged 11-17 surveyed for ChildLine said they had seen images that had upset themThe paper notes that regulators could notify payment providers advertisers who provide services to sites that are in breach of the regulations, enabling them to withdraw services.Internet Safety and Security Minister Baroness Shields said: “The internet is a tremendous resource for learning and creativity but it is important to make sure that children are able to make the most of all it has to offer in a safe way.“So we are delivering on our manifesto promise by launching this consultation today, which proposes we require companies providing this pornographic content to ensure they have safeguards in place to ensure those accessing their websites are over 18.”A public consultation on the new regulatory framework will run until 12 April.    ” We don’t want children to learn about sex and relationships through the warped lens of adult pornography – there are good reasons for restricting pornographic magazines and DVDs to   adults which the NSPCC has long argued should apply equally online.       The easy availability to children of online pornography, much of it extreme, violent and profoundly degrading, is of deepening concern. It can leave them feeling frightened, confused, depressed or upset.       – Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

first_imgCTV News 15 March 2018Family First Comment: Another example – this time from Canada – of why ‘safeguards’ are an illusion. “A landmark lawsuit has been filed by an Ontario man suffering from an incurable neurological disease. He alleges that health officials will not provide him with an assisted home care team of his choosing, instead offering, among other things, medically assisted death. “My condition is grievous and irremediable,” 42-year-old Roger Foley said from his bed. “But the solution is assisted life with self-directed funding.” landmark lawsuit has been filed by an Ontario man suffering from an incurable neurological disease. He alleges that health officials will not provide him with an assisted home care team of his choosing, instead offering, among other things, medically assisted death.“My condition is grievous and irremediable,” 42-year-old Roger Foley said from his bed at the London Health Science Centre’s Victoria Hospital in a video that was recently posted online. “But the solution is assisted life with self-directed funding.”According to Foley, a government-selected home care provider had previously left him in ill health with injuries and food poisoning. Unwilling to continue living at home with the help of that home care provider, and eager to leave the London hospital where he’s been cloistered for two years, Foley is suing the hospital, several health agencies and the attorneys general of Ontario and Canada in the hopes of being given the opportunity to set up a health care team to help him live at home again — a request he claims he has previously been denied. “I have no desire to take up a valuable hospital bed,” Foley explained. “But at this point, it’s my only option.”Foley suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a brain disorder that limits his ability to move his arms and legs. The condition leaves him unable to perform mundane tasks on his own, like feeding himself. He also has trouble holding himself upright. Because of the condition, he even has difficulty speaking.“Unfortunately, my life story is narrated through the horrible prism of a progressive neurodegenerative disease,” Foley said with an audible tremor in his voice. “I have gone from being an active person to, on some days, not even being able to get out of bed.”Because Foley suffers from a terminal and incurable disorder, he qualifies for medically assisted death. But Foley does not want to die — he simply wants to live at home.READ MORE & VIEW VIDEO: read more

first_imgSenegalese-American singer Akon, whose Akon Lighting Africa initiative aims to bring electricity to some of the 600 million Africans who lack it, announced on Thursday the launch of a new “Solar Academy” for the continent.Akon, 42, made the announcement at the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York.The project is one of the many under the Senegalese-American’s Akon Lighting Africa initiative, which was launched in 2014 to bring solar electricity power to 600 million Africans that currently live off the grid.The “Solar Academy,” will open this summer in Bamako, the capital of Mali. The academy will aim to teach people how to instal and maintain solar-powered electricity systems as well as micro grids, “which are really taking off in rural Africa”, Akon Lighting Africa said.The academy will teach solar engineers how to install and maintain solar panels and “micro-grids,” small electrical grids that provide power to a very limited region , harnessing the 320 days of sunshine that most parts of Africa receive annually.“Micro-grids” are increasingly popular in rural Africa, where conventional, large-scale power infrastructure is unavailable.When Akon is not singing or producing music, he is busy providing sustainable living options to people in African countries. The Senegalese-American singer’s initiative, appropriately called Akon Lighting Africa, aims to supply electricity to 600 million people in Africa who lack it.The Senegalese-American celebrity is the latest participant in what some have deemed a “solar revolution” that’s bringing the alternative energy source to the impoverished but sun-rich continent.Akon Lighting Africa is now present in 14 African countries and has provided solar power to more than 1 million households by subsidizing the cost of installation for consumers keen on replacing kerosene with solar energy. read more

first_img Sharing is caring! Share Share HealthLifestyleNewsRegional CARPHA Concludes Risk of Getting Zika in the Caribbean Low at this Time by: – August 14, 2018 Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, August 13, 2018: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has concluded that Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean Region has been interrupted, and that the risk to residents and visitors to the Region of acquiring Zika is low. This follows a review by CARPHA of the data of the last 30 months pertinent to the situation. Zika Virus (ZIKV) was first detected in the Caribbean Region in late 2015. The number of cases increased in the first half of 2016 and reached its peak circulation in August 2016, and then declined rapidly by December 2016.Before, during and after the introduction of the virus, CARPHA has been conducting surveillance and laboratory testing activity for ZIKV and has worked assiduously with its 26 CARPHA Member States (CMS) and partners to strengthen the ability to detect and diagnose cases; to enhance the capacity to reduce transmission of this and other vector-borne diseases; and to improve coordination and use of information for prevention. At this time, ongoing surveillance and laboratory testing in CMS indicate that the epidemic circulation of ZIKV has been interrupted in Caribbean territories. This is based on congruency of data available from several sources and on experience of previous outbreaks of mosquito-borne viral diseases in the Region:• Local surveillance in Member States has demonstrated both a decrease in general fever-related illness as well as a specific absence of ZIKV reports over the past year.• CARPHA Regional Laboratory continues to test samples for mosquito-borne disease, including ZIKV, Dengue virus (DENV) and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). These tests have shown the drastic decrease from the peak of ZIKV circulation in 2016 to a situation where no cases of ZIKV have been confirmed among samples received from any CMS over the past 12 months • CARPHA has reached out to international public health agencies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the European Centres for Disease Control (eCDC), for information on cases of ZIKV in travelers returning from the Caribbean to Canada and Europe respectively. The data shared indicate a similar pattern to that seen in our regional data – a drastic decrease from a high-point in 2016, to sporadic cases in the immediate aftermath and no cases this year.CARPHA advises that there is still a need to be vigilant given the ongoing risk for dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases. The Agency maintains continuous vigilance of health and disease trends and risks for residents and visitors in the Region.We continue to work closely with other public health partners including US CDC, PAHO/WHO, tourism organizations public health agencies in Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union to find innovative ways of mosquito control including behavior change communication and research. Working alongside CMS we will support vector control activities and educate the public to protect the health of all within their borders. There is a need to strengthen surveillance in member states, set up registries for babies affected in the 2016 epidemic, enhance laboratory testing capacity, document the findings of countries to ensure evidence-based policy and practice and to look at ways to deal with climate-sensitive, mosquito-borne diseasesAs we work towards the elimination of the vector and their breeding sites CARPHA encourages visitors and residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing and staying in screened or air conditioning accommodations.center_img 18 Views   no discussions Share Tweetlast_img read more

first_img Share 14 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! LocalNews Second Leg of Dominica Hotel & Tourism Hike Festival Impressive by: – May 16, 2011center_img Tweet Share The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association in collaboration with the Discover Dominica Authority held the second leg of its Hike festival 2011 over the weekend which explored part of segment 4 of the Waitikubuli National trail.The hikes form part of Tourism Awareness Month.President of the DHTA Simon Walsh says the turnout was again very impressive.He says there was only one technical challenge on the trail.The final hike will be on this Saturday and will explore segment 3 of the trail Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more