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2021-02-16
ANNUAL REPORT 2019–20

CHLPE is excited to release our annual report for 2019–20! Find out what we've been up to in this black swan of a year.

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2020-03-16
THE LAW, POLICY AND ETHICS OF COVID-19

We are in the thick of unprecedented times. CHLPE members are at work on many dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis. Please check in regularly—or sign up for our newsletter to receive news, media, and event updates.

Now available free is Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19, published by the University of Ottawa Press. This book brings together 70 contributors from law, policy, ethics, medicine, health sciences, economics, management, and more. e-editions of Vulnerable are free of charge; print copies are available for purchase.

Our COVID-19 resource page >

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Vulnerable book page >

Vulnerable webinar (Friday 25 Sept) >

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2021-03-04
AND HEALTHCARE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ISSUES

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?

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2021-01-28
MAJOR NEW PUBLICATION IN NEJM ON SPONTANEOUS RESUMPTION OF CARDIAC ACTIVITY

Bertram Loeb Research Chair and CHLPE member Jennifer Chandler was part of the international multi-disciplinary team conducting this study under the leadership of Dr. Sonny Dhanani, CHEO. Professor Chandler contributed ethical, legal and social scientific expertise to the project. This work is key to the practice of organ donation after cardiac death, where speculation about the possibility of auto-resuscitation (spontaneous resumption of heartbeat) has led to ethical and legal questions about how long to wait following cardiac arrest before removal of organs for transplantation. Professor Chandler is presently involved in a follow-on study examining neurological activity during the dying process.

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2021-01-25
CANADA NEEDS A NATIONAL DATABASE TO TRACK COVID-19 VACCINATION

With the first Canadians getting the COVID-19 vaccine this week, the importance of effectively monitoring the rollout of vaccinations is coming to the fore. The government response nicely recognizes the lead role of the provinces in setting priorities for vaccination. This cooperative federalism is wonderful—when it works. However, for anyone with experience in software, databases and statistical analysis, the vaccination monitoring described sounds like a dog’s breakfast. That’s not good enough when lives are on the line. CHLPE's Michael Wolfson (former Assistant Chief Statistician at Statistics Canada) writes in the Globe and Mail.

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Also hear Dr. Wolfson in a radio interview:

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2021-01-25
MANDATORY VACCINATION FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS: AN ANALYSIS OF LAW AND POLICY

Making vaccination of healthcare workers mandatory would guard against depletion of the healthcare workforce, and may reduce rates of workers transmitting COVID-19 to their patients. However, such policies have historically been challenged under labour law, and in theory might be challenged under human rights law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Colleen M. Flood, Bryan Thomas, and Kumanan Wilson write in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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2021-01-25
PLEASE SHOW YOUR VACCINE CERTIFICATE

Vaccination certificates will likely be required in a variety of settings. Policy makers must have clear rules for their design and implementation. Colleen M. Flood, Vivek Krishnamurthy, and Kumanan Wilson write in Policy Options.

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2021-01-25
WHAT DOES OUR FUTURE AFTER THE PANDEMIC LOOK LIKE?

In the weeks and months ahead, politicians, public policy experts, academics, businesses, non-profit organizations and the general public will have important choices to make in rebuilding our lives, our societies and the international order. Vanessa MacDonnell, Sophie Thériault, and Sridhar Venkatapuram write in La Presse.

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2021-01-25
WHEN ARE YOU ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO TRAVEL AND HOW WILL THE GOVERNMENT CHECK?

Everyone knows international trips during the COVID-19 pandemic are highly discouraged. But what are Canadians legally allowed—and not allowed—to do when it comes to travelling abroad? The answer is more complicated than you might think. CHLPE's Martha Jackman (Law) contributes (Global News).

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2021-01-25
THE DANGERS OF PLAYING POLITICS WITH COVID-19 CURES

As treatments for COVID-19 are sought, there also needs to be a stronger stance against promoting unproven medicines. Faculty of Law Ph.D. Candidate Adam Houston writes in African Arguments.

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2021-01-25
PETER LIU NAMED TO ORDER OF ONTARIO

CHLPE Advisory Committee member Dr. Peter Liu has been appointed to the 2020 Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour. Dr. Liu is credited for having raised the international profile of Canadian cardiovascular research through his leadership at top national institutions. Congratulation Dr. Liu!

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2021-01-25
THE STRANGE THING THAT IS THE REVIEW BOARD

Guillaume Ouellet and Emmanuelle Bernheim write in response to recent columns by Patrick Lagacé on the follow-up of persons found not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder.

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2020-11-30
HYBRID MINDS: EXPERIENTIAL, ETHICAL AND LEGAL INVESTIGATION OF INTELLIGENT NEUROPROSTHESES

In November, CHLPE's Professor Jennifer Chandler (Law) and colleagues were awarded a major three-year grant from the European Research Area Networks (ERA-NET) for a multinational and multidisciplinary research project. The grant, worth CAD$1.26 million, is funded by Canadian, German and Swiss national funders, and will support research by a team representing neurosurgery, neuroengineering, rehabilitation engineering, philosophy, and patient policy and advocacy. The project will address intelligent neuroprostheses, which represent the next phase in the evolution of devices integrated with the brain.

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2020-11-30
FIRST, DO LESS HARM CONFERENCE ON HARM REDUCTION VIDEOS

On November 12 and 13 the Ottawa Hub for Harm Reduction and CHLPE hosted First, Do Less Harm, a two-day online conference on the law, policy, and ethics of harm reduction in areas including opioids, cannabis, tobacco, and others. Speakers were drawn both from universities and medical and front line harm reduction organizations. A special thanks to Professor Vanessa Gruben (Law), Director of the Hub! Videos of all panels are currently available at www.ottawahealthlaw.ca/pastevents.

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2020-11-30
CANIMMUNIZE ON THE FRONT LINES OF VACCINE ROLLOUT

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be one of the largest and most complex health initiatives in Canadian history. The CANImmunize app, brainchild of CHLPE's Dr. Kumanan Wilson, is poised to help monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines while also allowing Canadians to easily store their vaccination history on their phones. Read more here:

CTV News

Ottawa Business Journal

www.canimmunize.ca

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2020-11-30
IS IT "HOARDING" OR GOOD PLANNING? CANADA LEADS WORLD IN PROCURING COVID-19 VACCINE

Canada has pre-ordered far more COVID-19 vaccine per capita, and from more potential suppliers, than any other country. And that includes the two manufacturers—Pifzer and Moderna—that recently reported promising results on the effectiveness of their products. But to international development organizations, Canada’s accomplishment is something else—a sign of how rich countries are “hoarding” coronavirus vaccine in a way that will deprive poorer nations for months or years. The moral question aside, they argue that that’s a self-defeating strategy given the risk that outbreaks will continue to occur in Canada until all countries have been sufficiently immunized. CHLPE's Jason Nickerson is cited in the National Post.

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Jason Nickerson also recently appeared on TVO's The Agenda – "Tracking Canada’s Vaccine Race":

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...and before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs as part of their study on Vulnerabilities Created and Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic:

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2020-11-30
ON THE WITNESS STAND: DISRUPTING BIG TOBACCO

David Sweanor, Chair of CHLPE's External Advisory Committee and the first lawyer globally to work full-time in public policy advocacy against big tobacco, recently testified before the Parliament of Australia's Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction. The brief transcript makes for an interesting conversation about the disruptive effect of vaping technologies on big tobacco companies:

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2020-11-30
WHAT CAN THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH FOR ALBERTA DO?

Professor Patrick Fafard (Public Policy) was interviewed by CBC Radio in Calgary about the role and powers of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta, and how her role compares to that of her counterparts in other countries. Does Dr. Deena Hinshaw have the power to lock the province down? Or is that Premier Kenney's call in the end?

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2020-11-30
KAREN ELTIS CITED BY SUPREME COURT OF CANADA

Professor Karen Eltis’s work was cited in the November Supreme Court decision Quebec (Attorney General) v. 9147-0732 Québec inc. The court grappled with looking to foreign and international legal sources to aid in interpreting the Canadian Charter’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment. In doing so, it looked to Karen Eltis’s work on comparative constitutional law and the “living tree” approach to Charter interpretation.

Read McCarthy Tetrault’s summary of the case >

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2020-11-30
THE LIFE-SAVING MEDICINE SHE NEEDS IS CHEAP, COMMON, AND UNAVAILABLE IN CANADA

While doctors removed a rare parasite growing on Cassidy Armstrong's liver before it killed her, she doesn't know if she'll receive the medication she'll need for the rest of her life. Her temporary supply of the drug is running out and she's still waiting for Health Canada to provide long-term access. CHLPE Ph.D. candidate Adam Houston is quoted in CBC News.

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2020-10-28
MIND-BRAIN-LAW READING GROUP RESTARTS

Mind-Brain-Law is a multi-disciplinary discussion group for people interested in the ethical, legal and social impact of the science and technology of the brain and mind. The group selects a recent interesting and important journal article to read and discuss, and uses it as a jumping-off point to explore broader implications. The group is open to students, scholars, and practitioners, both locally and nationally/internationally. The first meeting of 2020–21 will be on November 17. Spots are limited—RSVP is required.

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2020-09-25
RECONCILING CIVIL LIBERTIES AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Today the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) released a policy briefing entitled Reconciling Civil Liberties and Public Health in the Response to COVID-19, co-authored by several CHLPE members. Click to download the report or its executive summary.

The RSC has broadly developed resources and reports to ensure open access to independent, evidence-based science regarding COVID-19: https://rsc-src.ca/en/covid-19.

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2020-09-10
B.C. COURT DISMISSES CAMBIE SURGERIES CLAIM

The Supreme Court of British Columbia released its decision in Cambie Surgeries Corporation v. British Columbia (Attorney General). The plaintiffs claimed that provisions in the Medicare Protection Act violate rights under ss. 7 and 15 of the Charter, specifically the right to life, liberty, and security of the person and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination. The court did not find an infringement of either section (finding that an infringement of security of the person was nonetheless in accordance with principles of fundamental justice). The case is expected to end in the Supreme Court of Canada.
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See also the recent book Is Two-Tier Health Care the Future?, a dive into the public-private health care debate in Canada.

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2020-09-10
ADDRESSING VULNERABILITIES FOR A MORE EQUITABLE PANDEMIC RESPONSE

Vulnerabilities and interconnectedness at the centre of the COVID-19 pandemic are examined in this new series of articles in Policy Options. At issue are the vulnerabilities of people harmed by the virus directly as well as those harmed by our measures to slow the virus’s march; vulnerabilities in our institutions, governance and legal structures; and vulnerabilities in other countries and the global level.
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