November 13, 2006

Canadian Context 2006.11.13

Along the lines of what I'm doing with the 'Buddha Break,' I'm going to start blogging regularly about sci-tech, and bioethical and political issues as they pertain to Canada. These postings will be titled, "Canadian Context."

For those of you who are in Canada, I hope this will bring to light some of the issues we're facing today as progressives, and for those outside of Canada, this should give you an idea of how we compare to your own country. Please feel free to submit article ideas.

Our right-wing minority government, led by born-again Christian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is fostering an American style Christian right in Canada. Chris Hedges has penned an article about this for The Nation titled, "Letter From Canada: The New Christian Right." Hedges writes,
Harper, who heads a minority government, is a member of the East Gate Alliance Church, part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, a denomination with 400,000 members that believes in the literal word of the Bible, faith-healing and the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Women cannot be ordained in his church, homosexuality is a sin and abortion is murder. Canada, however, is unused to public displays of faith, and Harper has had to tread more lightly than George Bush. But many fear the prime minister is taking a cue from the Bush Administration and slowly mobilizing Canada's 3.5 million evangelicals--along with the 44 percent of Canadians who say they have committed themselves to Christ--as a power base. Harper has spent the past three years methodically knitting a coalition of social conservatives and evangelicals that looks ominously similar to the American model.
You can read the entire article here.

The province of Ontario is considering legislation in which there is assumed consent for organ donation. In other words, your organs are donated at the time of your death unless you have explicitly stated otherwise. This will be an extremely difficult piece of legislation to pass, but an excellent idea in my opinion. There are severe organ donor shortages in Canada right now.

A recent study from the University of Alberta has discovered that Canadian medical school graduates often don't have a clue about how to perform basic surgical procedures. Researchers discovered that many medical school graduates in Canada have not received adequate training in basic surgical skills, such as suturing and tube placements. This study was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery.

Human clinical trials are increasingly being outsourced to the developing world: Generex Biotechnology Corporation has entered into an agreement with the Lebanese-Canadian Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon to conduct a human clinical trial of the Antigen Express synthetic avian influenza vaccine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe in the separation of church and state. Given everything I've seen so far, Stephen Harper has brought 0 church influence on state policies.

It would probably be nice to at least give Conservatives the benefit of the doubt and judge them based on actions. As opposed to the more popular way of discriminating against their leader because of his personal beliefs.

As a side note, I wonder what the outrage would be if Harper was Muslim or Buddhist or of a different religion (who proposes kooky things).