Debates

We've curated important conversations about various aspects of health care in Canada. Some of our debates are classic clashes between opposing views. Others consist of multiple perspectives that fall along a spectrum of opinion. And some are timelines that show the development of a big story over a long period.

Series
Posted: Apr 6, 2021

Dispatches

Our editor-in-chief, Seema Marwaha, is keeping a regular log of what she is seeing, thinking and feeling as she tends to COVID-19 patients while more virulent and contagious variants of the coronavirus stress our hospitals.

by Seema Marwaha

Instead of pots and pans, all I hear now is the deafening silence in response to calls for paid sick leave and vaccines for essential workers.

by Seema Marwaha

It is so incredibly obvious to us on the wards who is struggling for help. I am angry, sad, and disappointed that their needs and safety seem to invisible to people in power.

Discussion
Posted: Mar 8, 2021

Women’s Health

International Women's Day is both a celebration of how far we've come and a reminder of how far we have to go when it comes to women's health. Displayed here are a few pieces from the archives that highlight issues women face today regarding their health.

Comment and response
Posted: Mar 4, 2021

Are drug-pricing changes helping or harming Canadians?

An article published on Feb. 2 argues that the PMPRB, a federal regulatory agency, must push ahead with reforms to the pricing of pharmaceutical drugs, despite pressure from Big Pharma.

A critical reply instead argues that the pricing changes will ultimately harm Canadians.

by Danyaal Raza

If the government is serious about ensuring access to prescription drugs and vaccines to all, it must stand up to pressure from Big Pharma on pricing reforms.

VS
by Jason Field

Canadian patients, scientists and health systems are paying the price for this failed policy experiment, which is not what our country needs at this critical moment.

Debate
Posted: Jul 23, 2020

Nationalizing drug manufacturing: A public necessity or a waste of money?

Be it resolved that the government must take over the manufacture of critical care drugs to prevent shortages.

by Saad Ahmed

This pandemic, like the Spanish flu at the height of the Progressive era, is a chance for a burst of creativity in policy-making and a commitment to building new institutions. 

VS
by Ahsan Irfan

The issue of drug shortages is a critical one and deserves a sober, evidence-based policy discussion by governments and experts. Generic drug manufacturing should not be nationalized for three reasons.

Discussion
Posted: Jan 26, 2021

Long-term care reform during COVID-19

Ontario's long-term care system is in need of reform. Over the last few months, our contributors have flagged major issues with the current models of care and highlighted the disastrous consequences to residents during COVID-19. They have also proposed novel, logical solutions to the problems. Here is a selection of pieces that approach this topic from a variety of vantage points.

by A group of very concerned physicians, researchers and advocates

We are a group of physicians, researchers and advocates who have come together to express our grave concern for the safety and well-being of Ontarians who reside in long-term care (LTC) homes.

by Jackie Brown

Financialized homes had a death toll of 6.2 per cent. In contrast, non-profit homes had a mortality rate of 3.1 per cent while municipal homes did best at 1.1 per cent.

by Kaleigh Alkenbrack

COVID-19 has exposed huge issues in Ontario's LTC homes. It's time we reimagine LTC entirely. Let's start by surveying the other LTC models already out there.

Complex Debate
Posted: Jan 14, 2021

The MAiD Debate

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) has been legal in Canada since June 17, 2016. There was heated debate before legalization and it continues today over expanding MAiD to vulnerable groups, such as youth and those with mental illnesses and disabilities. Because it is not as simple as being for or against, we've organized some compelling arguments that sit on both sides of the spectrum.

Those who support or consider expanding MAiD
VS
Those who oppose or consider limitations on MAiD
Timeline
by Gali Katznelson

Rather than rushing to amend our Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) law, Parliament should be focused on expanding access to social services.

by Peter Allatt

You want to introduce fundamental change to a controversial practice during a pandemic? Bill C-7 will become law while every healthcare organization in the country is swamped by the worst crisis in living memory.

by Christina Sinding

For my Mom, palliative care and MAiD unfolded gracefully together. My family’s experience is one among many that might prompt Canada’s palliative care organizations to reconsider their relationship to MAiD

by Dianne Godkin

Three years post legislation, it is time to reflect on whether the 10-day waiting period is an effective mechanism for confirming that a wish is enduring.

by Lucas Vivas Pascal Bastien

Since most MAiD requests stem from concerns over autonomy and control, we must ask ourselves if supporting the expansion of MAiD for a few justifies exposing an ever-increasing number of vulnerable patients to its irreversible harms.