Health

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Transforming Nova Scotia’s Social Assistance Program

Transforming Nova Scotia’s Social Assistance Program

July 25, 2018 at 11:40 am

I’ve been trying to think of an analogy for Nova Scotia’s Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) program and so far this is the best I’ve come up with: The government decides that while 13 years of public school is optimal for Nova Scotian students, it is only going toRead More

(Clockwise from upper left) Glace Bay Hospital, New Waterford Consolidated Hospital, Northside General Hospital, Cape Breton Regional Hospital

What the Healthcare Plan Means for Surgeries

July 25, 2018 at 11:38 am

A few weeks ago, when I reported on the provincial government’s “redevelopment” plan for Cape Breton Healthcare, I noted that it called for the transfer of surgeries currently performed in the Northside General and New Waterford Consolidated Hospitals (both of which are scheduled for closure) to the Cape Breton RegionalRead More

By U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt Araceli Alarcon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Ethicist: Moral Superiority at the Gym

May 16, 2018 at 11:50 am

One of the most interesting features of philosophy is that it forces practitioners to notice the extraordinary in the ordinary. Part of its charm lies in its power to make what we might be tempted to take for granted look strange and intriguing. For the philosopher, everything and anything isRead More

Informing the Healthcare Debate…or Not

Informing the Healthcare Debate…or Not

May 2, 2018 at 11:23 am

A story on the front page of this Saturday’s Cape Breton Post caught my eye — and apparently caught somebody else’s eye too: While I sympathize with anyone suffering from the kind of pain Greg Sharpe describes, I had a very different response to this article than did our mayor/PCRead More

Chickens and Ticks and Lyme Disease and…Super Models?

Chickens and Ticks and Lyme Disease and…Super Models?

April 25, 2018 at 11:36 am

A recent conversation with a relative set me to researching chickens and ticks and what a long, strange trip it’s been. The conversation was about the efficacy of chickens in controlling tick populations. It struck a chord with me because I’ve been thinking of the advantages of backyard chickens latelyRead More

The Ethicist: Taking Cartesian Dualism Too Far?

The Ethicist: Taking Cartesian Dualism Too Far?

March 14, 2018 at 9:36 am

Last month, I discussed Descartes’ thought experiment and its sharp separation between mind and body. This month, I want to look at a bizarre and ethically troubling proposal that arises as a consequence of this way of understanding ourselves: the head transplant operation that Italian physician Dr. Sergio Canavero claims thatRead More

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Shows Promise

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Shows Promise

February 28, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Perhaps one of Charles Dickens’ most famous lines was Oliver Twist’s “Please sir, I want some more.” First published in monthly installments from February 1837 to April 1839, Oliver Twist was pretty much an attack on Britain’s Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. As G.K. Chesterton wrote in an introductionRead More

Ideas You Didn’t Know You Had: Who Are You?

Ideas You Didn’t Know You Had: Who Are You?

February 14, 2018 at 12:06 pm

There is a common type of case study presented in many bioethics textbooks. It concerns a person (usually a woman, for some reason) who is suffering from somewhat advanced dementia. She is often described as having been someone who was highly intelligent, who had a professional career in which sheRead More

Sunset, Big Pond, CB. (Photo by By Capercanuck (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Dying with Dignity in Cape Breton

January 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm

The last thing Weldon Bona wanted was for his very private decision to have an assisted death to become a news story, but that’s exactly what happened last week. Bona had done everything asked of him when he chose to take this step, having been diagnosed with a disease thatRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

November 3, 2017 at 11:15 am

We are a…province? Organizers of the Father Greg MacLeod lecture series promised the talks would explore “radical,” “daring” and “out-of-the-box” ideas and I have to say Senator Dan Christmas, who gave the inaugural lecture last night, delivered. His daring idea? Cape Breton should be a province. Oh, I know, IRead More