WTF Wednesday: Nursing homes are prescribing drugs and are fully aware they may kill residents

Many nursing homes’ workers are giving residents potentially lethal pharmaceuticals to help with dementia. These nurses and doctors are well aware the drugs may kill those suffering from the disease. But it’s still happening all across the province. The Star recently conducted an investigation into the usage of these pharmaceuticals in Ontario nursing homes. It… More »

WTF Wednesday: New law bans medical marijuana users from growing their own pot

On April 1, the federal government will enact a new law banning individuals from growing medical marijuana for their own use. Instead, those who wish to acquire the drug will be forced to buy it from provincially-approved growers, who then mail the dried product to the patients. Currently, only seven growers are approved; their prices… More »

Friday FTW: Canadian doctor schools US senator

Earlier this week, Canadian doctor Danielle Martin battled the rather patriotic U.S. Republican Senator Richard Burr at a subcommittee meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss different health care systems around the world. Okay, maybe I’m being a little melodramatic here but it sure seemed like a battle—and Martin, the vice-president of the Women’s College Hospital… More »

This guy is donating some blood.

WTF Wednesday: Canadian Blood Services trumpets policy change on gay men and blood donation

Canadian Blood Services is now accepting blood donations from men who have had sex with men—but only if they haven’t done so in the past five years. The change took effect July 22, and marks a drastic departure from the organization’s previous policies concerning blood donation from the MSM category of donor, a blanket term used to… More »

Friday FTW: U.S. Supreme Court says no to patenting human genes

In a stunning display of common sense over corporate interest, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 13 that human genes can’t be patented. The case centred on controversial Myriad Genetics, the (now former) patent-holder of the gene mutation responsible for hereditary breast cancer. Perhaps, like many others, you first heard about the gene mutation after… More »

Financial conflicts of interest in DSM-IV and DSM-5 panelists. Courtesy of the PLoS Journal of Medicine.

WTF Wednesday: Conflict of Interest in the DSM-5

The DSM-5 is the newest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—the book of mental illnesses. The tome has been around since the ’50s, and updated editions have reflected changing social norms— homosexuality was taken out in 1973. Over its five editions, names have changed, symptoms have changed, and new illnesses… More »


WTF Wednesday: A female Viagra is coming…as a nasal spray

It’s been 14 years since the erectile dysfunction pill Viagra hit the market, and it seems like women are finally close to getting one, too—in the form of a nose spray. The product, called Tefina, is a testosterone gel that gets sprayed up the nose and absorbed within minutes, with effects that could be felt… More »

Meanwhile, in America, someone compares health care reform to 9/11

Yesterday was a big day for our neighbours (or, sorry, is that “neighbors”?) next door! August 1 marked the first day that United States’ federal health reform contraception mandate comes into play. Starting now, the next time that insurance companies go into open enrollment periods (the period where new policy years start and they bring… More »

In memory of Kyle Scanlon

Yesterday, I learned that Kyle Scanlon, a well-loved and respected member of the trans* activist scene in Toronto, had died. Kyle committed suicide last week in his Toronto home. He’s not someone I knew well, but I’d reported on a couple events featuring Kyle’s presence in the past. It was a shock to think that… More »

WTF Wednesday: The New Abortion Caravan is pro-life

Over 30 years ago, the pro-choice movement in Canada was at its peak. In 1970 the Vancouver Women’s Caucus travelled across the country as part of the Abortion Caravan. Stopping in various cities and towns on their way to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the women spent their evenings hearing the stories of other women so… More »