The disillusionment of “healthy” patients.

In Editorial, Opinion by Edmund Kwok1 Comment

Guest post by Linda B. After spending years in both the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit, I have come to realize that we do a grave disservice to the Canadian Public…people think they are healthy. People think that if they wake up in the morning, swallow a handful of pills and go about their daily lives, they are healthy. Despite the fact that our lives are generally sedentary, we eat too …

Coming to a hospital near you: physician-assisted suicide.

In Featured, Opinion by Edmund Kwok2 Comments

Scenario 1: A 64 year old patient is suffering from advanced Lou Gehrig’s disease – she cannot perform her own activities of daily living, and can do nothing but watch her own body deteriorate until the slow release of death. She wishes to have the opportunity to control how she passes, with the aid of her healthcare providers. Sound reasonable? Scenario 2: A 64 year old patient is suffering from severe depression – …

Our turn to Choose Wisely.

In Featured by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

Healthcare spending has been a hot topic recently. While the focus in Ontario (and subsequently spreading to other provinces as well) these days has been on curbing physician fees, let us not forget another big piece of the puzzle: over-spending on unnecessary investigations and treatments. In the U.S. alone, up to one-third of the $2 trillion of annual healthcare costs goes towards unnecessary hospitalizations and tests, unproven treatments, ineffective drugs and futile end-of-life-care. …

Acknowledging Death in the ER

In Commentary, Opinion by Nadim Lalani6 Comments

Picture the following: A resuscitation is in progress for an elderly gentleman. Health care providers try frantically to restore signs of life. Chest compressions are ongoing, a breathing tube is placed, large intravenous line inserted, electrical shocks and medications given. Eventually the team realizes that they have exhausted all possibilities. To do more would be futile. The team leader “calls the code”.  People mill away … one resident chides another about stealing her …

Facebook (organ-donating) Friends: Like or Dislike?

In Featured by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

Hélène Campbell has become the poster child for utilizing social media successfully in her battle for a double-lung transplantation. Amidst the media frenzy and social chatter surrounding the story, Facebook recently announced their own foray into the business of facilitating organ donation – users in the US and the UK can become organ donors as easily (and as mindlessly) as a simple mouse click updating their Facebook status. There is no question that …

Publishing wait times – for Good or Evil?

In Featured by Edmund Kwok5 Comments

Taking a drive through some states south of the border, you might notice a peculiar phenomenon: not only are there billboards showcasing the latest fashion or promoting certain consumer goods, but obscenely large billboards advertising the ER wait times of various hospitals. “Come to our ER! The wait is only 3 minutes to see a physician!” You might laugh and even shake your head at this, but it certainly makes sense in their …