July/August 2012: The Limits of Medicine in a Sick Society

Volume 46, Issue 4

Medicare was born in conflict. The notorious Saskatchewan Doctors’ Strike aimed to abort it. That was 50 years ago. This issue of Dimension offers an historical perspective on that birth with an essay by Lorne Brown and Doug Taylor (who are preparing a book on the 50th anniversary of Medicare.) Ulli Diemer exposes “Ten Myths about Medicare,” and health economist Robert Chernomas discusses one of those myths in detail: the controversial sustainability question.

But this issue is about more than Medicare. It’s about the limits of medicine in an ailing and toxic society. Broadcaster and social commentator Jill Eisen writes about poverty and other social determinants of health. David R. Boyd, one of Canada’s leading experts in environmental law and policy, looks at the impact of environmental hazards on human health. Finally, Richard Barnet, himself a medical doctor, reflects on the radical views of Ivan Illich, who saw modern medicine as invading daily life in dangerous and disabling ways.

As the drama of the Québec students’ strike continues, we also address this historic struggle and the efforts of the Charest regime to suppress it in our editorial, “Québec: From Student Strike to Social Upsurge,” as well as in our Rising Youth column and the CD Paragraph.

John Ryan examines the forces involved in the bloody events in Syria in his forceful article about why Canada should not intervene. Historian Henry Heller analyses the political fallout of austerity policies in Europe. Andrea Levy’s column, “Pipeline to Perdition,” and Julie Guard’s article about Harper’s war on the unemployed contribute to CD’s coverage of Stephen Harper’s ongoing assault on Canadian institutions, social policies and regulatory framework.

  • Regulars

  • Regarding An Act to enable students to receive instruction from the postsecondary institutions they attend (Québec)
    Peter Kulchyski
  • Québec: From Student Strike to Social Upsurge
  • Around the Left in 60 Days
    compiled by Karen Mackintosh
  • How to Confront the Harper Majority?
    Brigette DePape, Crystel Hajjar and Tasha Peters
  • Pipeline to Perdition
    Andrea Levy
  • Labour and the Response to Austerity
    Herman Rosenfeld
  • Pro-Choice Resistance: The revolution continues
    Jodi Proctor
  • Open Arguments

  • The Extremes Grow Stronger: The Europe of bankers totters
    Henry Heller
  • The Syrian Saga: Why Canada should not intervene
    John Ryan
  • Conservatives’ EI Reform is a Bad-Jobs Policy
    Julie Guard
  • The 2012 Alberta Election What Happened?
    Trevor Harrison
  • The Keralan Paradox
    Richard Swift
  • Nueva Espernaza [new hope]
    Dawn Paley
  • Greening Warfare? Lockheed Martin’s sustainability agenda
    Garry Leech
  • The Limits of Medicare

  • The Birth of Medicare: From Saskatchewan’s breakthrough to Canada‑wide coverage
    Lorne Brown and Doug Taylor
  • Medicare Myths and Realities
    Ulli Diemer
  • Sustainability: Profit is not the cure
    Robert Chernomas
  • Sick People or Sick Societies?
    Jill Eisen
  • Environmental Hazards and Human Health
    Dr. David Richard Boyd
  • Medicalization of Life: Is the wisdom of Ivan Illich relevant to health care today?
    Dr. Robert J. Barnet
  • All that’s Left

  • Of Portraits, Penises and Politics
    Chris Webb
  • Occupy This!
    Justin Panos
  • Jan Wong and What They Don’t Tell You in Journalism School
    Lesley Hughes

Rick Salutin, playwright and columnist, Toronto Star

Nothing seems to me more important than the debate about what socialism means NOW, with the decks finally cleared of Soviet and similar versions, yet so few are doing it. Thank God, pardon the expression, for Canadian Dimension.

— Rick Salutin, playwright and columnist, Toronto Star. SUBSCRIBE NOW!