Early intervention important when fighting depression

If you are depressed you should not procrastinate and you should not settle for partial treatment

Early intervention important when fighting depressionIn the fight against depression, time is the enemy. Early intervention is critical when treating this chronic disorder and it often determines the success of treatment. What many people are unaware of is that depression can be a progressive disorder that gets worse as time goes on. Not only does the person experience more severe…

Death’s tug of war with mystery and science

If you want technology as a friend, learn its values, side effects and track record. Particularly when discussing issues like medical aid in dying

Death’s tug of war with mystery and scienceI count myself lucky to have been born when death was still pretty much a mystery, more the prerogative of poets and other artists, philosophers and religious teachers than of scientists and doctors. I grew up surrounded by death. I served as an altar boy at dozens of funerals, attended the wake of my maternal…

Three years after Robin Williams death, reporting on suicide still contentious

By choosing not to report on mental health or suicide, journalists only perpetuate the stigma for those living with a mental illness

Three years after Robin Williams death, reporting on suicide still contentiousThree years ago, comic icon Robin Williams was found dead. His death was subsequently confirmed by California police as a suicide. The coverage was overwhelming: articles, blog posts, live coverage, television segments and an outpouring of emotion over social media. There have been similar public responses more recently with the deaths of Chris Cornell, frontman…

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisis

If the NDP is going to lose the next election, the government should just fall on its sword and introduce a sales tax

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisisAs a baby boomer, I’m very concerned about my future dignity in Alberta. For the past two months, my 85-year-old mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, has lived in Foothills Hospital because there are no long-term care facilities that can accept her. Her days (and nights) are spent locked in a chair because she wanders and…

Life, not death, the path that leads to the feast

The claim that suicide makes life meaningful is bizarre and wrong. Suicide is foremost an evacuation of all meaning and potential

Life, not death, the path that leads to the feastSeveral months ago, I left the classroom under a dark cloud. Suicide was on my mind. It came up in a class discussion. How we got to suicide, I can’t remember. What I do remember is the student who said that the person who commits suicide deserves respect, if not praise, for showing courage and assertiveness.…

Assisted dying and the dark corners of history

We need to learn from the lessons of history when considering assisted dying for those with disabilities – no matter how unsettling that history may be

Assisted dying and the dark corners of historyHistory has a role in the national conversation about medically-assisted death, despite protests to the contrary. A respected physician and scholar recently stepped down as chair of the expert working group appointed to study the issue of advanced directives for medically-assisted death. Named to this position only two weeks earlier by the Council of Canadian…

Justin Trudeau and the tragic things left undone

One year after Trudeau took power, he has failed miserably to protect Aboriginal Canadian children

Justin Trudeau and the tragic things left undoneTORONTO, Ont. Oct. 19, 2016/ Troy Media/ – A year ago today, the Liberal Party of Canada won a big election victory. One year later, what do we know? We know that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his party are still very popular. Polls say so. Against his opposition – both essentially leaderless, both seemingly directionless –…

Hospitals have no conscience, only the people who work in them do

Publicly-funded Catholic hospitals have no institutional claim to Freedom of Religion

Hospitals have no conscience, only the people who work in them doOTTAWA, Ont. Oct. 12, 2016/ Troy Media/ - Canadians are grappling with one of the most difficult legal issues we have faced in decades: our collective responsibility to facilitate medically-assisted death for those who choose it and satisfy the legal criteria. Ever since the Supreme Court decided in Carter v Canada that individuals have a…

Senate feasts on Trudeau’s assisted dying bill

It's time to try again – this time without the bad luck, the divisions, the parliamentary brinkmanship and the flying elbows

Senate feasts on Trudeau’s assisted dying billTORONTO, Ont. June 14, 2016/ Troy Media/ - Some of us aren't enthusiastic about assisted dying. Although, in the case of the Senate, we will happily make an exception and assist. The Senate – that undemocratic, unaccountable, unwanted monstrosity that has affixed itself to the side of Parliament like an ermine-garbed parasite – is in…

Assisted dying Bill C-14 better than alternatives

Bill C-14 draws criticism from diametrically opposed perspectives – those who think it too permissive and those who think it too restrictive

Assisted dying Bill C-14 better than alternativesHALIFAX, N.S. June 12, 2016/ Troy Media/ - The federal government’s response to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling on medical assistance in dying offers a fair compromise. Bill C-14 is generating a lot of criticism from diametrically opposed perspectives – those who think it too permissive and those who think it is too restrictive. Errol…