Category Archives: History of Medicine

Thalidomide and the UK Welfare State: How a Unique Tragedy Showed the Problems of All People With Disability

This post was presented to the Carleton University Disability Research Group earlier this year and is cross-posted on their website. By Jameel Hampton Beginning with the recognition of the special needs of disabled schoolchildren in the 1880s, the British state took on the welfare of groups of disabled people perceived to be deserving of statutory welfare. Disabled ex-servicemen and blind… Read more »

Marijuana, Capitalism, and the Canadian Strategy

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By Stefano Tijerina A commercial-scale medical licensing system involving a Canadian company with ties to Colombia is set to turn the image of widespread illicit pot growing in the Colombian countryside on its head. Canadians are well informed about the internal debates surrounding marijuana but they tend to be not as aware of the nation’s foreign policy and global strategy. The… Read more »

Living History Installation in Vancouver: MAD CITY, Legacies of MPA

By Megan J. Davies MAD CITY: Legacies of MPA, a historical exhibit at Vancouver’s Gallery Gachet, is based on a radical idea: that people with a psychiatric diagnosis should create and run the support services they need. Using the lens of the past, MAD CITY invites visitors to imagine a mental health system conceived and directed by “experiential experts”: people… Read more »

Commemorating the Forgotten Plague through the Classroom

This is the third in a four-part theme week focused on the Spanish Flu and the newly launched Defining Moments Canada project. By Mike Clare The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-19 had a profound impact on Canadian culture and public policy. But is it worth acknowledging? As an approach to teaching the Canadian experience, the Spanish Flu Pandemic could be… Read more »

What is Forgotten? Influenza’s Reverberations in Post-War Canada

This is the second in a four-part theme week focused on the Spanish Flu and the newly launched Defining Moments Canada project. By Esyllt Jones For all the times scholars of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic have referred to its “forgotten” aspect, in homage to Alfred Crosby’s 1989 title for the influential book that a decade earlier had been published as… Read more »

Thirty Years since Morgentaler: A New Frontier?

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Shannon Stettner and Katrina Ackerman January 28, 2018 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Morgentaler decision that declared Canada’s 1969 abortion law unconstitutional. For thirty years, the country has been without a federal law governing abortion. In place of a federal law, provincial regulations and the individual provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons have governed access to abortion. Such regulations… Read more »

Defying Expectations: Exercise and Medical Surveillance during Pregnancy

Katrina Ackerman and Whitney Wood High-level athletes who exercise or compete in a sport while pregnant constantly gain media attention. When Serena Williams recently announced that she was 20 weeks pregnant, people quickly crunched the numbers and discovered that she won the Australian Open while seven to eight weeks pregnant. Williams was celebrated for challenging the notion that the pregnant… Read more »

High Risk: Women, Healthcare, Trauma and History

By Beth A. Robertson A Canadian-born meme became briefly popular on social media less than a week after the US House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in early May. Modeled after a series of other well-known “Hey Girl” memes (typically featuring Canadian actor Ryan Gosling), the meme pictured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau surrounded with the words:… Read more »

The “A” Word: Intertwined Histories of Infertility, Adoption and Abortion

By Katrina Ackerman I never anticipated that my research on abortion politics would collide with my recreational interest in CrossFit. I found the sport of CrossFit while trying to manage the stress of the PhD qualifying year, and it remained an important form of escapism for me throughout my doctoral studies. But there I was, sitting at home watching the… Read more »

Quarrelsome cannabis in the UK: evidence from Canada and elsewhere

By Lucas Richert In September the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform in the UK stated there was “good evidence” cannabis could help alleviate the symptoms of several health conditions, including chronic pain and anxiety. According to Professor Mike Barnes, a leading consultant neurologist who contributed to the report, “We must legalise access to medical cannabis as a… Read more »