• Invictus Games are an opportunity to advocate for disability rights

    … Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtrough has yet to produce the legislation she was tasked with… Even provincially, the government has failed to keep its promise of enforcing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act… The Liberal government has even gone so far as to obstruct investigations by disability advocates. This does not seem like leadership “committed to building a more accessible Ontario

  • A perfect storm: homelessness, mental health, criminal law and no shelter beds

    We are told that the cost of rent is a function of the market. There is widespread public support for benefits for people who cannot work because of disabilities. At a minimum this should include enough money to pay rent and buy food. Instead, my clients are being warehoused in jails while their friends sleep and die on Toronto’s streets.

  • Gene editing is not about ‘designer babies’

    In a scientific first, researchers were able to edit human embryos and remove a disease-causing mutation… But… we are not on the verge of designer babies. If anything, this study shows that modifying embryos to give them more desirable traits is more difficult than believed… The science is advancing at breakneck speed. The challenge is for ethics and the law to keep up. It’s worth noting that this type of experiment is illegal in Canada

  • Elizabeth Wettlaufer murder inquiry must confront struggling long-term care system

    The key reason why no one suspected foul play, I suspect, is that nursing home patients are expected to die… The government’s political aim is to get eligible seniors off the waiting list and into long-term care beds as quickly as possible without spending too much… nursing homes face no financial loss if a resident dies. There are always people anxious to fill the beds of those who pass on… neither has a material incentive to look too closely if seemingly natural deaths do occur.

  • Toronto’s plan for tackling opioid crisis falls short

    One of the obvious recommendations, then, from Thursday’s meeting was to speed up the opening of the three supervised injection sites… A better idea comes from harm reduction workers at the sites who argue that while the centres are being renovated for supervised injection services, temporary or mobile sites should be opened now. Pop-up clinics like that would be in line with how the city responds to a flu outbreak.

  • How a Canadian experimental program helped one child with autism speak

    Known as the Social ABCs, the program teaches parents strategies to help toddlers with ASD to talk or vocalize in more meaningful ways and to smile more with their caregivers… The 12-week intervention… uses objects that grab a child’s attention and motivates them to verbally interact with their parents… Researchers also saw increased verbal responses to parental prompts and gains in their functional language, as well as how often they initiated a verbal connection on their own

  • Ontario to cover cost of abortion pill starting Aug. 10

    The abortion pill Mifegymiso will be dispensed for free to patients across the province starting Aug. 10, Ontario’s Minister of the Status of Women said Thursday. The drug, known internationally as RU-486, currently costs $300. Eliminating the fee for the drug is “about fairness, it’s about safety, and it’s the right thing to do,” … Although the drug will now be dispensed without cost, patients will still need a prescription.

  • Prescriptions shouldn’t push brand name drugs

    … thousands of Canadian doctors use the software to take notes during patient visits and create a prescription to be filled by the patient’s pharmacy. To encourage pharmacists to fill the prescription with their brand name drug, pharmaceutical companies have paid Telus (the company won’t say how much) to digitally insert vouchers on the prescription so that pharmacists will reach for their drug rather than a lower-cost generic made by a competitor.

  • Ottawa’s new tax measures unfairly target many doctors

    The reason physicians (and other small business owners) retain money in a corporation is because they don’t have pensions or benefits like many salaried employees… Governments can, of course, change policy. But if they adopt measures that make incorporation unattractive and impossible to accumulate retirement savings, then they need to provide an alternative, such as salaries and pensions. That would mean a fundamental revamp of how physicians are remunerated.

  • A sea change in the war on smoking

    Prohibition doesn’t work – whether we’re talking opioids or tobacco. Harm reduction, though it often makes us uncomfortable, does work. Smoking low-nicotine cigarettes is better than smoking high-nicotine ones, and vaping is better than smoking. Those are the kind of plain language messages that regulators and public-health officials need to deliver in Canada, not just the U.S.