Chelation Study Suspended

The Associated Press reports the chelation heart disease study has stopped enrolling people while officials investigate whether participants were fully informed of the risks and are being adequately protected. Partcipating in the study are more than 1500 heart attack survivors including Canadians. Dr. Gervasio Lamas of the University of Miami acknowledged that some doctors who […]

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Joint Commission Alert: Prevent Blood Thinner Deaths and Overdoses: Anticoagulant therapy linked to high rate of errors

The Joint Commission issued a new Sentinel Event Alert that urges greater attention to the dangers associated with anticoagulants, life-saving medications that present serious risks when administered incorrectly or in error. Patients being treated with these medications must be closely monitored and screened for drug and food interactions, given that commonly used anticoagulants such as […]

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Antibiotic use in pregnancy linked to cerebral palsy

Antibiotic use in pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of cerebral palsy in a study published in the British medial journal the Lancet.  The incidence of cerebral palsy was nearly triple in infants whose mothers had taken both the antibiotics erythromycin and  co-amoxiclav. The study also found evidence for an increased prevalence of […]

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Canada’s health care fares poorly when compared to Western Europe

The Winnipeg based Frontier Centre for Public Policy has issued findings of a comparative study of health-care quality indicators such as wait times, patient rights and information, primary care and access to medical records by a patient. The study examined Canadian standards in relation to that of 29 European countries. Although Canada spends generously on […]

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The Vulnerable Hurt by Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims

In a viewpoint published in Forbes Magazine law professor David A. Hyman of the University of Illinois weighed into the tort reform debate in the United States where 23 states have enacted a cap on the recovery of damages for non-economic losses since California first did so in 1975. Professor Hyman knows of what he […]

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Vaccine Risk Declarations and Nurses

On September 3 2008 the Ontario Court of Appeal in Morgan v. Toronto (City), 2008 ONCA 603 affirmed the judgment of Madame Justice Mary A. Sanderson holding that the standard of care to be provided by a public health nurse was that of a prudent and diligent nurse in the same circumstances. This standard requires a […]

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Loss of Chance in the Medical Case Alive in Massachusetts

On July 23 2008 in the case of Matsuyama v. Birnbaum, et althe highest appellate court in Massachusetts rendered a significant judgment dealing with the loss of chance arising out of negligent medical error. At trial the jury found the defendant physician liable for failing to diagnose gastric cancer in the presence of gastric distress over […]

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Higher Standards in Hospital Policies

In the decision Latin v. Hospital for Sick Children, 2007 CanLII 34 (ON S.C.) released January 3 2007 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice reviewed the issue of what weight is to be given to hospital policies and any failure to adhere to them in assessing whether hospital staff is negligent. In this case the […]

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Drug Safety

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States issued a new report on September 22 2006 delivering a critical assessment of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) drug safety system. According to the IOM, there are at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events in the US each […]

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Promotion of Patient’s Rights of Regulatory Concern

On December 12 2006 the Ontario government introduced a bill into the legislature that will amend the Regulated Health Professions Act intended to enhance the health professional regulatory colleges’ complaints procedures by giving patients increased access to information, improved communications and streamlined processes. At the present time the 23 colleges (to become 27 under the […]

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Whither Medical Malpractice Compensation

In a letter to the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) published October 10 2006 John Gray Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the CMPA (Canadian Medical Protective Association) in response to a published report of the merits of the New Zealand no fault medical liability system indicates the CMPA’s view that Canada should retain […]

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Medical Research Under Scrutiny

On August 8 2006 Mr. Justice Browne of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued a decision with wide reaching implications for policy makers and researchers in the health care field. The relevant facts are: The plaintiff was diagnosed with having Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was a young child.  In February 1995, the plaintiff […]

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