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CONFERENCE ON ORGAN DONATION & TRANSPLANTATION – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Registration is now open for Key Policy Issues in Organ Donation & Transplantation, an online conference coming June 17–18. Spanning nine panels over two days with speakers from medicine, law, policy, ethics, and patient partners. We hope to see you there!

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2021-04-21
FULBRIGHT VISITING RESEARCHER FROM THE U.S. 2022

We are looking for an outstanding scholar to join CHLPE for four months in 2022 or 2023. The Chairholder will join our vibrant community of scholars, with the opportunity to interact with faculty and graduate students from law, social sciences, medicine, health sciences, management, and the arts. Our location in Ottawa enables the Chairholder to address issues of national and international significance and to network with leading policy-makers and jurists. Remuneration 25k USD + benefits. Deadline: 15 Sept 2021.

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2021-05-28
LATEST CIFAR REPORT ON AI AND HEALTHCARE

Artificial intelligence (AI) will transform and democratize health care systems. Yet at the same time it presents clear risks and implementation issues, such as those connected to discrimination, informed consent, safety/quality (and liability for harm), and privacy. This report from a group of experts across AI, law, ethics, policy, and medicine, addresses the core question: How can Canada maximize the potential benefits of the use of AI in health care while minimizing potential dangers?

Report Part I >

Report Part II >

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2021-05-10
VACCINE CERTIFICATES SHOULD NOT COME AT EXPENSE OF OTHER COVID PRIORITIES

While there’s mounting pressure to create a vaccine certificate system, it risks diverting focus and funds from other work to combat COVID-19. One example is tackling persisting vaccine nationalism, which now constitutes an obstacle to aggressive vaccination to achieve global herd immunity. Another important competing priority is the intensification of research on second-generation vaccines, or even a universal SARS CoV-2 vaccine to account for emergent variants, which are now threatening to torpedo progress on vaccine development. Then there is the focus on tackling the extremely disruptive effects of COVID-19 itself. Professor Chidi Oguamanam writes in Policy Options...

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2021-05-10
CANIMMUNIZE MAKES WAVES IN NOVA SCOTIA

A made-in-Ottawa vaccine booking system is winning praise in Nova Scotia, where it is being used for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and drawing unfavourable comparisons to Ontario where booking a vaccine has become the source of widespread frustration. The Ottawa company CANImmunize built Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 vaccine booking system. The company grew out of an app created by CHLPE's Dr. Kumanan Wilson, a physician and senior researcher at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, alongside engineer and now chief technology officer Cameron Bell. They created it almost a decade ago after a woman at a playground complained about the paper-based system of keeping track of vaccines using yellow cards. She suggested Wilson create an app to help people do so...

Full text in the Ottawa Citizen >

See also in the Toronto Star >

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2021-05-10
VACCINE PASSPORTS DONE EQUITABLY

Around the world, governments and other organizations are developing COVID-19 vaccine passports—documentation to allow vaccinated people greater mobility and access to other services. But vaccine passports are controversial: sources of opposition include scientific questions—for example, whether vaccinated people can still transmit the virus—and concerns about privacy, especially in connection with digital passports. Each of these are likely to be solvable problems. Evidence of vaccine effectiveness continues to accumulate, and privacy concerns could be mostly addressed by adopting passport alternatives that satisfactorily protect an individual’s information.

A deeper and more intractable concern is that any system of vaccine passports risks being discriminatory and inequitable. Consider the inequities we see already in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines: supplies and distribution have predictably favored richer countries. Marginalized groups are less likely to be vaccinated—often because of worse access, but also because of vaccine hesitancy based on intelligible mistrust of government and historical experiences of medical abuse. For people who are unable to be vaccinated because of their health status or religion, a vaccine passport regime could unfairly frustrate their return to normal life...

Read the full text of the article by Ryan Tanner & Colleen M. Flood in JAMA >

Also check out other recent articles by Professor Colleen Flood and Dr. Kumanan Wilson's team on immunity passports:

Mandatory vaccination for health care workers: an analysis of law and policy

The case for mandatory vaccination of health care workers

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2021-05-10
WHAT’S PREVENTING CANADA FROM CREATING A ROBUST HEALTH DATA INFRASTRUCTURE?

High-quality scientific evidence, and the data and analysis on which it is based, is essential to inform the immediate needs of COVID-19 policy and effective health policy more generally. In the current emergency pandemic context, it could have saved lives and reduced serious illness. This situation is not new. Canada’s health information has been sub-standard for decades. The pandemic has only served to make the problems more visible. It’s time the federal government provided much stronger leadership so Canada can finally have an effective health data infrastructure. Professor Michael Wolfson writes in Policy Options...
Full text >

See also Professor Wolfson's recent op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen:
Full text >

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