Search Results: mental illness

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  • RELIGION

    How do we navigate medico-legal questions without a bill of rights?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 December 2015

    The consideration of medico-legal problems in the public square of a pluralistic democratic society keeping pace with profound technological change is often marked by simplistic assertions, precluding considerations of comprehensive world views, whether religious or philosophical. It is now commonplace for doctors to be told to leave their consciences at the door, as their patients are consumers and they are suppliers and of course the market decides. Debates about law and policy are often resolved with simplistic assertions about individual rights and autonomy, with little consideration for the public interest, the common good, and the doctor-patient relationship. Even conscience is said to be a matter for contracting out. This evening I ask whether there are more compelling ways to resolve medico-legal dilemmas, while conceding a limited role for law in determining the range of acceptable answers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What led to the trashing of Christmas Island

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 November 2015
    6 Comments

    Questions remain regarding the recent death and disturbance on Christmas Island, posed by the responses by New Zealand and Australian government ministers to the unrest. New Zealand Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne compared the Christmas Island regime to Guantanamo Bay. Australian Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton emphasised the $10 million damage to property. Both responses were partial. At a deeper level the riot was the predictable outcome of a brutal government policy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Participation and inclusion key for neglected carers

    • Moira Byrne
    • 13 October 2015
    3 Comments

    Mental health disorders among caregivers occur at a rate of up to two times that of the general population, and relationship breakdown for parents of children with special needs is reported to be around 80 per cent. Since becoming a parent of someone with a disability and changing careers, I've been fortunate to have employers who have permitted part-time work, which has been a crucial aspect of my wellbeing. This has not always been the case, nor is it the case for all caregivers all the time.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Melbourne medicos bring detained children into the light

    • Justin Glyn
    • 12 October 2015
    9 Comments

    Health care professionals at the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital have begun to do what could not be achieved by reports from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Australia's Human Rights Commission. The doctors and staff are refusing to release children they treat back to the detention which caused their problems in the first place. By this brave act has begun the slow task of pouring daylight (always the best antiseptic) into this gaping wound in Australian society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Breaking the silence in the kingdom of the sick

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 October 2015
    7 Comments

    While suffering from cancer, Susan Sontag suggested that it, like tuberculosis the previous century, was a disease shrouded in metaphor, morality, and silence. As time passed and the AIDS epidemic raged, she expanded her analysis to include that virus. What would she think of today's culture around mental illness? Like allergies, some of the origins of mental illnesses are societal. And the social and political conditions which produce illness are not generally a part of the medical project.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Family violence more complex than sexual abuse

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 August 2015
    9 Comments

    Childhood experience of violence is associated with many other aspects of disadvantage which, as a recent study shows, interact with and intensify one another. Violence at the home is likely to be linked to irregular eating habits, poor educational achievement, mental illness, contact with the justice system, and substance abuse. The challenge of responding to family violence is even more complex than that of protecting children from sexual abuse.

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  • RELIGION

    The nun who couldn't say no

    • Philomena van Rijswijk
    • 11 August 2015
    12 Comments

    Our family life was fraught with conflict, centred on our parents' inability to cope with my father's serious mental illness. During the early years of her childhood, my sister was made my mother's intimate confidante. This was a time of anguish for Mum, about both her marriage and a series of tragic miscarriages. My sister left home when she was 14, and entered the juniorate on the way to becoming a nun.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A euthanasia parable in the outback

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 August 2015
    3 Comments

    Dismayed by the prognosis that he has only three months to live, Broken Hill cabbie Rex abandons his work, home and mates and sets out for Darwin to seek the help of prominent euthanasia advocate Dr Nicole Farmer (a fictional Dr Philip Nitschke). The story is as much about the journey as the destination, although there are those who would argue that its pat 'choose life' message just feels too easy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Love's twists and turns

    • Isabella Fels
    • 27 July 2015
    4 Comments

    How I love spending good quality time with you | You twist yourself around me giving me no space. I just want to hurl you into space | You're leaving, that's a fact, you said it straight out, with hardly any tact | I'm so alone being without you, I can still feel your glare | Thank you for giving me your love.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Middle age suits me just fine

    • Isabella Fels
    • 21 July 2015
    10 Comments

    Ageing. Looks fading. No longer able to wear the clothes from my early twenties. Feeling slovenly and matronly but enjoying the respect I never got when I was young. Deep down I love being called Madam. In middle age, I feel much more empowered and no longer so cowered towards authority.

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  • Christian perspectives on war and peace

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 June 2015
    1 Comment

    Given the ready access we have to international media and the world wide web, we can no longer plead ignorance of the trouble going on in our world. Those of us who are purist pacifists can presumably put a coherent case for eschewing violence in all cases, even were a madman to be imminently threatening the lives of our most vulnerable loved ones. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Australian Muslim' is not an oxymoron

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 14 June 2015
    16 Comments

    There is a particular anatomy to the process of othering. In any context, the formula consists of propaganda, hatred, division, suppression and control. I'm from Perth. Some people would dispute this due to my brown skin and non-Anglo name. But I was born here, and have lived here for my entire life. Still, people like me are too often considered Australian only by law, and not by sociocultural connotation.

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