Health

  • Will the State Hug Me When I Die?

    Father Deacon Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus law program, argues Canadians of religious faith must be left free to choose what procedures their healthcare institutions provide. 

    For 18 months, Canadian governments have legally permitted assisted suicide on demand for patients suffering terminal illness whose condition is “grievous and irremediable.” It’s considered a choice people now have available to them.

    For Catholics, O...

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  • An Image of Freedom

    Convivium contributor Dayna Slusar talks to the founder of Free To Be about helping young people understand their bodies are gifts from God, not dependent on social media judgements

    Convivium: How did the initiative Free To Be evolve? Can you share how the experiences you had growing up that gave you a heart for talking about positive body image with teens and pre-teens?

    ...

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  • Meaning and MAID

    Today, we release the fourth piece in our series of Policy Options articles that have emerged as a response to our Spirited Citizenship: Care, Conflict, and Virtue round table in Ottawa last month, convened in partnership with the Angus Reid Institute to mark Canada’s Sesquicentennial. 

    (Pictured: Dr. Christopher De Bono, Vice President of Mission, Ethics, and Spirituality for Providence Health Care in Vancouver, Britis...

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  • Forgetting To Always Remember

    Cardus Senior Researcher Peter Jon Mitchell reflects on modern western society's discomfort with death and grief and the role that memory, faith, and religious communities can serve in the experience of public mourning. 

    There’s an old story sometimes shared during eulogies about an elderly women planning her funeral.

    “Burry me with a fork,” she tells her minister.

    “Yes, but may I ask why?” he inquires.

    She explains that as a child, when the dishes were...

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  • This Manner of Love

    Emergency surgery becomes the opening for Doug Sikkema to encounter some ribald characters, the troubled heart of a city, and the service of Christ suffering, Christ risen.

    Life is a hospital, in which every patient is possessed by the desire to change his bed.

    Baudelaire. Paris Spleen.

    The whole earth is our hospital/Endowed by the ruined millionaire,/...

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  • City On A Hill

    The Cardus Ottawa office stands juxtaposed between the political temples of Parliament Hill and the soup kitchens of Lower Town. In this place where two sides of the city meet, Andrew Bennett sees signs of human dignity in the message of a homeless man.

    In two months I will be 45-years-old. I am told, or perhaps I have gleaned from others, that this is the age at which reminiscence becomes a confirmed pastime rather than something seen to be quaintly practiced by aging parents and grandparents.

    In a...

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  • The Five Goodbyes of Dying

    Palliative care is less about medical science than about giving time to say what needs saying before life ends.

    “Death is inevitable. A bad death is not,” blares the headline of the April 29th edition of The Economist. The feature repeats the arguments why more palliative care, a “neglected branch of medicine,” is needed and why “honest a...

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  • At the Heart of Health, Continued

    In the second installment of a two part article, Cardus Family's Andrea Mrozek sits down with Dr. Sue Johnson, creator of a highly effective strategy for relationship repair called Emotionally Focussed Couples Therapy and author of several books, among them Hold Me Tight (2008) and Love Sense (2013).  Together, they discuss attachment, health, and relationship.

    Building on research released last fall by Cardus Family on the importance of emotional relationships to physical well being, program director Andrea Mrozek sat down with Dr. Sue Johnson to learn about a cutting-edge approach at the Ott...

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  • At The Heart of Health

    Cardus Family's Andrea Mrozek sits down with Dr. Sue Johnson, creator of a highly effective strategy for relationship repair called Emotionally Focussed Couples Therapy and author of several books, among them Hold Me Tight (2008) and Love Sense (2013), to learn about a cutting-edge approach to emotional relationships and physical well being at the Ottawa Heart Institute..

    Building on research released last fall by Cardus Family on the importance of emotional relationships to physical well being, program director Andrea Mrozek sat down with Dr. Sue Johnson to learn about a cutting-edge approach at the Ott...

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  • Nobody Babies

    In an interview with Convivium, Andrea Mrozek, program director for Cardus Family, says Ottawa’s recent pledge of $650 million to make abortion more widely available overseas as part of a reproductive health initiative is another marker of Canadian society’s generalized disdain for having babies. 

    Convivium: What's the concern with the federal government giving money to ensure access to abortion outside of Canada?

    Andrea Mrozek: The new funding influx is in part, I'm sure, to overcome the fact that U. S. is re...

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  • Between Power Or Love

    Writer, Tim McCauley comments on the importance of our heart's response to suffering, and gives Convivium readers a perspective on the debate over "mercy killing."

    "Have you reason to be angry over the plant?" God asks Jonah. (The plant had sheltered Jonah, but then God sent a worm that attacked the plant so that it withered). 

    "I have reason to be angry," Jonah answers, "angry enough to die."

    His respon...

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  • Deadly Misinformation

    An example of this is the recent Globe and Mail piece, “Hospitals have no right to opt out of assisted dying.” Reporter Andre Picard states that faith-based hospitals have no right to opt-out of providing assistance in suicide. The support for this conclusion is his assertion that “Institutions do not have a conscience.

    Now that assisted suicide and euthanasia have been decriminalized in Canada, news articles and opinion pieces are spreading incorrect information about the legal obligations and rights of the parties affected by this change in law. While the authors of thes...

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  • Protecting Patients in the Shadows of Euthanasia: 3 Recommendations

    We will all be vulnerable at some time in our lives and this legislation does not and cannot protect us. Even Justice Lynn Smith, the original Carter trial judge, foresaw the inevitability of wrongful deaths when the healthcare system provides state-sanctioned euthanasia. She suggested strong safeguards that should be “scrupulously enforced.” This bill does little toward establishing concrete guidelines, and life-ending decisions will be made for some patients against their explicit wishes as a result.

    Co-authored by Dr. Margaret Cottle and Faye Sonier. Margaret Cottle, MD, CCFP (Palliative Care) is a palliative care physician in Vancouver, BC, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Uni...

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  • What does post-Carter Canada look like?

    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Carter vs. Canada that euthanasia and assisted suicide needed to be decriminalized in some circumstances. The Liberal government responded to this decision by introducing Bill C-14, which put some guidelines aroun...

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  • Palliative Care: Time for a Compassionate Approach

    Palliative Care is commonly but mistakenly understood as medical care provided when death is imminent. A broader understanding of this care as including social, psychosocial, and spiritual dimensions most often delivered outside of the health system needs to be cultivated. The reality has not matched the rhetoric in providing palliative care.

    A February 2015 Nanos Poll of Canadian public opinion suggested that 73% of Canadians were concerned that they will not receive the comfort and support they would hope to receive if they or a loved one was facing a life threatening illness and nearing death...

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  • Changing Politics for a Changed Country

    Saying “government should not” is as simplistic as saying “government should” if there is nothing else that follows. Yes, conservatives believe in limited government. But this requires more than arithmetic requiring the size of government. What government should do, it should do well and enough resources need to be dedicated to those tasks.

    Co-authored by Michael Van Pelt (President), and Ray Pennings (Executive Vice-President) of Cardus, a Canadian think ta...

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  • A Deadly Form of Normal

    Or there soon might be, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association told a joint Senate-Commons committee this week. The committee is studying legislative responses to replace the Criminal Code prohibition on helping someone end his or her life. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association led in the battle to have the old law struck down. Not surprisingly, BCCLA representatives argued in front of the joint committee that any new law should be as minimalist as possible. By no means, executive director Josh Patterson contended, should there even be a requirement for a second medical opinion when a patient asks a doctor to end life prematurely.

    Euthanasia? Assisted suicide? There’s an app for that.

    Or there soon might be, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association told a joint Senate-Commons committee this week. The committee is studying legislative responses to replace ...

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  • Quebec thumbs its nose at Supreme Court

    Even minus the inspiration of Trudeau père in spiritus, however, Canadians who care at all about our constitutional democracy, and about the rule of law, should be deeply alarmed by what was done to push forward physician assisted suicide in this country. Whatever side of the assisted suicide debate you might be on, the abuse of process that occurred has foundational implications for our continuity as a Confederation as envisaged by the British North America Act and by the Constitution Act of 1982.

    An early surprise of 2016 has to be the failure of Pierre Elliott Trudeau's ghost to streak across the sky ululating at the damage done last week to his beloved Canadian constitution.

    Even minus the inspiration of Trudeau père in spiritus, how...

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  • Immune to Embarrassment

    Stunning, indeed preposterous, as those words might seem to someone freshly arrived to the issue, the truly appalling part is that they come as no surprise at all to those of us who’ve been around it for a while.

    The federal government has yet to introduce medical suicide legislation and already we are witnessing the next convulsion in the culture of death. It’s in the form of the debate, newly arisen this week, over whether 12-year-olds should be euthanized in secr...

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  • Looking at the End of Life Differently

    At the release of the report in Ottawa, I sat down with Cardus executive vice president Ray Pennings, researcher Nik Nanos, and Dr. José Pereira of Pallium Canada to discuss this serious issue.

    Views on how and when medical measures to extend life should be taken may differ widely in Canada, but we can all agree that our systems around end-of-life care could be impro...

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  • Give Hospitals Grassroots Treatment

    But the president of the Canadian Medical Association broke with saw-bones tradition last week by letting us in on two words that, he said, should get the attention of everyone who uses our health care system. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Hospitals are invariably opaque environments where mere mortals are always encouraged to sit quietly without fussing to understand what is self-evidently beyond their ken.

    But the president of the Canadian Medical Association broke with saw-bones tra...

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  • Ford Shutdown

    Is this even remotely likely to happen? Not on a bet. Why? Because it would require a major act in the public interest from the very self-interested media outlets that contribute so substantially to Toronto's urban neuroticism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Whether or not Toronto mayor Rob Ford is clinically crazy, he is certainly crazy like a Fox News instant celebrity. For all the crack and vodka he has confessed to consuming, after all, Ford obviously mainlines that most addictive and destructive drug of al...

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  • Creature Comforts, or Putting the Past Behind You

    Good old-fashioned means, like, you know, the one that paralyzed the city at the very beginning of time in, like, you know, 1998. "It sounds like it was so much fun," she told me the other evening. "Everyone got together at each other's houses and had parties. Some guy wrote a book about how much fun it was. We need another ice storm to bring everyone together like that again."

    My daughter is hoping—kinda—for a good old-fashioned Montreal ice storm this winter.

    Good old-fashioned means, like, you know, the one that paralyzed the city at the very beginning of time in, like, you know, 1998.

    Among the 20-somethings in m...

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