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Category Archives: Health / Medical

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Have you registered your consent to be an organ donor?

Posted in Estate Planning, General Interest, Health / Medical
Today, in Ontario, over 1,500 people are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. One of these individuals dies every three days. Despite the overwhelming need for organs and tissues, Canada has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the world.  While many countries including, Spain, Italy, Austria and Belgium have adopted… Continue Reading

Nova Scotia on the brink of making a bold move to increase rates of organ donation

Posted in Estate & Trust, Ethical Issues, Health / Medical, In the News, Uncategorized
Organ donation rates across Canada are dismal, really. Canada consistently ranks in the bottom half of industrialized countries where transplants are performed. Many factors affect donation and procurement rates. Spain, Portugal, France and Austria have high organ donation rates because these countries have adopted a ‘presumed consent’ framework whereby organs and tissues are essentially considered… Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted in Health / Medical
What happens when someone changes his or her mind about medical care after preparing a power of attorney?  A recent article in the Law Times by Judy van Rhijn highlights some concerns surrounding this issue. In Ontario, in most circumstances, doctors must obtain consent from a patient before administering treatment.  When the patient is not… Continue Reading

Piljak Estate v. Abraham: Is Excised Human Tissue Personal Property?

Posted in Ethical Issues, Health / Medical
A recently released endorsement considered the question of whether excised human tissue may be considered property for the purposes of Rule 32.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.  Rule 32.01 allows the court to make an order for the inspection of real or personal property provided it is necessary “for the proper determination of an… Continue Reading

Doctors Speak out against Unnecessary Medical Tests

Posted in Health / Medical
Nine national medical organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Medical Association, have gotten together to speak out against ordering unnecessary medical testing and procedures that patients do not always need.  The list of 40 tests, treatments and procedures are based on definitive evidence that these interventions provide “no benefit to patients”, and may do more… Continue Reading

Blood Testing: The New Crystal Ball for Dementia

Posted in Capacity, Estate Planning, General Interest, Health / Medical, In the News, Power of Attorney
Last week on our blog, Josh Eisen blogged about a death test which uses blood samples to identify people with higher short-term risk of dying.  There appears to be a pattern developing in the scientific community with regard to the use of blood tests as the new crystal ball for our fate. A new study… Continue Reading

The Death Test

Posted in Health / Medical
Tests can be frightening.  Math tests, driving tests, medical tests – for many people, these are among the most intensely stressful experiences that we go through.  The odds are good that you have had at least one nightmare about showing up for a test late or unprepared and not knowing any of the answers.  If… Continue Reading

Medically Assisted Suicide Heats Up At Federal Liberal Party Convention

Posted in Ethical Issues, Health / Medical, In the News
On February 23, 2014, the Federal Liberal party of Canada passed a resolution which aims to de-criminalize medically assisted suicide. The resolution was passed during the party’s biennial policy convention, echoing the Quebec legislatures current legislative reform proposals and foreshadowing the Supreme Court of Canada’s vow to revisit the controversial issue for the first time… Continue Reading

Brain Death: Two Tragic Cases at the Junction of Medicine and the Law

Posted in Ethical Issues, Health / Medical, In the News
Sorrow makes us all children again — destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.         – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American author On December 9, 2013, 13 year old Jahi McMath underwent complex surgery at Children’s Hospital Oakland to remove her tonsils, adenoids, uvula and bony structures in her nose in an… Continue Reading

Dementia: The Hot Topic of Healthcare

Posted in Health / Medical
It comes as no surprise that with the global demographic shift towards an aging population and the prevalence of baby-boomers now reaching retirement age, the worlds of estate planning and healthcare are becoming ever more intertwined. While estate planner’s awareness of the effects of dementia on testamentary capacity moves to the forefront of issues to… Continue Reading

Asthma Inhalers in the Principal’s Office: Rampant Rulitis

Posted in Estate & Trust, General Interest, Health / Medical, In the News
At present, there is no legal framework in Ontario governing the storage of asthma inhalers within schools. The absence of such a framework shifts the decision-making into the hands of the individual school administrators and/or school boards. What has evolved as a result of this legal vacuum is a patchwork of asthma management plans.  Many… Continue Reading

A Lesson from Abroad in Long-Term Caregiving

Posted in Health / Medical
In Canada, many aging residents struggle to cover the costs of long-term care, forced to remain at home without adequate assistance.  With the rising costs associated with long-term caregiving, families are often burdened to take on the care or financial support of an aging loved one. Several European countries, however, are making elder care a priority,… Continue Reading

Cancer Insurance Comes to Canada

Posted in Health / Medical
 According to the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadians have a 40% chance of developing cancer during their lifetime and a greater than 25% chance of ultimately succumbing to the disease.  Cancer insurance has recently been introduced in Canada to provide individuals who are insured with a lump sum payment, to be spent as the patient chooses,… Continue Reading

Should living kidney donation be incentivized?

Posted in Health / Medical
A recent Canadian study suggests that compensation in the amount of $10,000 could greatly increase numbers of individuals willing to act as living kidney donors.  A reward system could also result in lower costs to provincial healthcare, due to the high costs associated with dialysis, and significantly improve the quality of life for those now… Continue Reading

To Be or Not To Be: The Right to Die in Canada

Posted in Health / Medical
In several countries and states in the US, those suffering from terminal illnesses which give rise to unbearable mental or physical suffering are able to choose to die with the assistance of a medical physician. This controversial route is often seen as the best option in dire circumstances, where one wishes to maintain dignity in… Continue Reading

Google’s Newest Mission: Immortality

Posted in Health / Medical
Google’s launch of its new biotechnology company called Calico (short for the California Life Company), an organization aimed at extending life expectancy through the curing of diseases related to aging, was announced last week.  The illnesses that Calico ambitions to tackle include various cancers, age-related mobility issues and mental incapacity, and aging itself.  Since 2011,… Continue Reading

Hospital Survival Rates Increase

Posted in Health / Medical
Nosocomephobia describes an excessive fear of hospitals. Richard Nixon, who likely suffered from the affliction, once famously said, “If I ever go into the hospital, I’ll never come out alive.” While checking the death rate at your local hospital may sound morbid, in Canada, it may offer peace of mind. In Canada, the rate of… Continue Reading