Health

  • Pearls of Wisdom on (Disabled) Daily Life

    Reviewer Taylor Hyatt finds Larry McCloskey’s latest book the kind of irritating that opens readers to touchstone stories able to articulate the almost inexpressible.

    The latest work by Ottawa author Larry McCloskey, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, reminds me of a thread with many strands. In roughly 200 pages, the author begins to explore questions of spirituality, the heart, disability, postsecondary educati...

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  • Standing Up for Vaccine Skeptics

    Though a vaccination supporter himself, Peter Stockland cautions against the campaign to denigrate those honestly questioning it in a world of abounding COVID absurdities.

    In a recently re-opened Ottawa restaurant this week, a member of our party of five was forbidden from using a chair.

    He wasn’t sitting in it standing on his head showing off some exotic yoga pose or, more pedestrianly, engaged in man-spreading to a d...

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  • The Devil in the Lack of Details

    Deliberately ambiguous bills such as Ottawa’s C-10 and C-6 are the political deceiver’s plaything, Daniel Dorman argues.

    John Milton’s Paradise Regained (the poem which followed his great English epic, Paradise Lost) expands and interprets the gospel narrative of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4). In one particularly potent scene Jesus accosts ...

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  • MAiD in the COVID Shade

    Peter Stockland reports on how the pandemic’s overshadowing of legislation radically expanding medical assistance in dying might reconfigure Canada’s future.

    For two evenings this week, my Cardus colleagues and a panel of expert guests have engaged an in-depth discussion on YouTube on Canada’s post-COVID future.

    They cov...

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  • COVID’s Cost in Liberty Lost

    Theologian James Bryson surveys the historical landscape of Munich and finds troubling harbingers vis-a-vis his home province of Nova Scotia’s authoritarian response to the pandemic.

    Born and raised in Halifax, I currently live in Munich, Germany. I have been monitoring the Nova Scotian response to the pandemic from abroad by reading the news and by keeping in touch with family and friends.

    I write this article to lend some persp...

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  • The Moving Goalposts of COVID Response

    Faced with pandemic “certainties” that quickly turn out to be up, down, and all around, Don Hutchinson cautions that science can provide estimates but not ultimate truth.

    A friend recently joined the growing group of Canadians who take issue with the moving goalposts of the declared as life-or-death (not-really-a) game of pandemic response. Another compared the relationship between science advisors and politicians t...

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  • Overcoming Vulnerability With Dignity

    Palliative care physician Dr. Anthony Kerigan highlights the A-B-C and D steps to safeguard the full dignity of the frail elderly and those at the end of their life.

    The last year has seen two events of major concern to older persons, especially those with significant frailty who are unable to live independently. The first was the isolation forced on them by the COVID-19 pandemic and the often substandard conditions und...

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  • Open Wide and Say Law

    Calgary physician Dr. Kiely Williams and Ottawa lawyer Faye Sonier show how the expansion of MAiD has given lawyers medical authority while silencing doctors who consider it very bad medicine.

    When the Supreme Court decriminalized assisted suicide in 2015, many physicians lamented that lawyers could practice medicine in Canada without a license. Now that Parliament has radically expanded the scope of medical assistance in dying (MAID) via the ove...

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  • Shadows and Light on Palliative Care

    Rapid expansion of Medical Aid in Dying and forced closure of a Vancouver-area hospice have raised alarm among palliative care providers. But Peter Stockland finds vital positive signs, too.

    At the beginning of April, the Supreme Court of Canada finally closed the outside door on the Delta Hospice Society’s ownership of a private 10-bed palliative care centre in suburban Vancouver.

    At one level, the SCOC’s refusal to grant the Society le...

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  • Replacing Aid With MAiD

    Expansion of medically assisted dying risks an explosive moral crisis when shortages already endemic in health care make Canadians choose death over delay, Ruth Dick writes.

    One day, before the pandemic arrived and wreaked its depredations on our health care system, I was driving with the radio on and heard, within a single, five minute, top-of-the-hour news recap, both a story about the federal government’s Medical Assistance ...

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  • HELP to Redefine MAiD

    Speech-language pathologist Tara Vreugdenhil breaks down the definitions that make up medical assistance in dying and determines it’s really homicide masquerading as health care.

    The importance of definitions has long been recognized by great thinkers. George Orwell’s 1984 demonstrated the ultimate impact of language on thought and culture. Newspeak went so far as to redefine words, ban words, and simplify vocabulary, all with the e...

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  • Readers Respond to Sean Murphy

    We asked our readers to let us know what they think about Sean Murphy’s initiative to amend the Criminal Code and make it an offence to compel anyone to participate in the act of non-culpable homicide that is currently called medical aid in dying. Here are some responses.

    In February, Convivium ran a report on Sean Murphy, a former veteran Mountie and local ...

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  • How MAiD Aids Ableism

    Bill C-7’s expansion of medical aid in dying encodes into law discrimination against disabled Canadians by treating them as less worthy of life than the able-bodied, Keith Dow writes.

    Complex networks of roots stretch several times beyond the radius of each tree’s canopy, drawing nutrients and water far from its origin. While we may quickly observe the location of a trunk, or the reach of extended branches, these roots are often invisibl...

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  • The Unlawfulness of Lockdown

    Contrary to theologian David Hionides, James Sikkema argues no one has a moral obligation to obey COVID-19 lockdown orders and that civilly disobeying them is justified.

    Lockdown orders are not justified. There is, consequently, no moral obligation to obey them. Let me explain.

    In the wake of ...

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  • A Plan to Unmake MAiD

    A former veteran Mountie and local coroner has a sure-fire way to protect health care workers from being made to administer MAiD. So why won’t anyone answer Sean Murphy’s call? Peter Stockland reports.

    Sean Murphy has what he considers a clear way through the tangle between the House of Commons and Senate over Liberal government legislation to expand Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

    The former veteran Mountie and coroner says the bill’s status w...

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  • How Sanctions Cheat Children

    Leading voices are urging Canada to rethink Middle East sanctions that make daily life a struggle just to get daily bread, Susan Korah reports.

    “Economic sanctions that afflict the poor must be lifted. I stress the word ‘poor,’” Archimandrite (head of a monastery) Georges Masri said in an e-mail from his home base in Syria. He was responding to my request for his views on the unfolding humanitarian...

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  • The HandMAiD’s Toll

    As the Senate studies Bill C-7’s dramatic expansion of medical assistance in dying, Anna Nienhuis and André Schutten warn of a MAiD copycat effect on those tempted to suicide.

    Action inspires action. This is often positive, as people’s activities motivate others to engage in positive service too. But there are times when action inspires deadly action. As the Senate continues its review of Bill C-7’s dramatic expansion of medical ...

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  • Our COVID Reality Check

    Western “realities” of freedom, prosperity and individualism have been shattered by the pandemic, clearing the way for a profound spiritual opening of hearts, Tara Vreugdenhil writes.

    The year just behind us was one of shaken realities. The news from Wuhan, China was of an unknown virus claiming lives in unprecedented numbers. But China is across the world so the West continued the reality of our usual daily tasks of work, school, activi...

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  • COVID in the Courts

    Peter Stockland speaks with lawyer John Carpay, of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, about looming legal battles on pandemic-driven infringements of Charter rights.

    It’s tempting to paraphrase a quote about the weather often (mis)attributed to Mark Twain as a summary of our COVID-19 year: Everyone keeps talking about the pandemic but no one’s doing anything about it.

    We must not lead ourselves into that temptati...

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  • Coping With Covid’s Confusion

    In these days of pandemic disorientation and fatigue, uncertainty over the right thing is all right but failure to be good neighbours will be more toxic than the disease itself, Travis Smith writes.

    Trust withers in an environment where anyone who does not dutifully repeat the orthodox refrain by rote hazards condemnation as a rumourmonger spreading disinformation. The ubiquity of mask-wearing in public has become an apt metaphor for a situation in whi...

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  • How COVID Leaves Trust In the Dust

    A severe social side effect of the pandemic is the disconnection between those in authority we must trust and our personal experiences that contradict what we’re told, Travis Smith writes.

    As justifiably proud as Canadians are about their health care system, carping about our experiences with medicine is a national pastime, too. Presented with a novel technology under today’s unusual conditions, it is unsurprising that some of the same old fr...

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  • Trusting COVID’s Novel Vaccines

    In the third of Convivium’s essays on the politics of the pandemic, Travis Smith argues reassurances about vaccine safety will convince only some of the people some of the time.

    The history of technological progress is littered with innovations that seemed monstrous at first but proved marvelous instead. Soon enough, people lose their scruples, realize how silly their misgivings were, and take these new technologies for granted. Of...

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  • The Political Spell COVID Casts

    The Ontario government’s methods to combat COVID-19 risks re-educating citizens in the Machiavellian art of compliance, political theorist Travis Smith writes.

    Stuck inside these four walls

    Sent inside forever

    Never seeing no one nice again

    Like you, Mama

    –Paul McCartney, “Band on the Run”

    Then I better stay in my room

    ...

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  • An Error Plagued Affront to Liberty

    In Convivium’s series exploring the line between freedom and COVID-19 responses, Douglas Farrow argues Quebec’s curfew and lockdown cut off our noses to spite our masked faces.

    The Quebec government, by order in council, has locked down the province for a month and deprived its citizens of their constitutional rights, on the grounds of a “public emergency” that does not presently exist, under cover of a pandemic that has almost ru...

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