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Connexions Resource Centre:
Focus on Health

Recent & Selected Articles

  1. This is a small sampling of articles related to health issues in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as health, health care, medicare, public health, health determinants, user fees, privatization, private clinics, pharmaceuticals industry, and occupational health and safety.
  1. Glyphosate is a disaster for human health (April 30, 2014)
    Extensive, long running evidence for the cancer-causing effects of glyphosate, and other toxic impacts, have been ignored by regulators. Indeed as the evidence has built up, permitted levels in food have been hugely increased.
  2. The chemical dangers in food packaging (March 1, 2014)
    The long-term effects of synthetic chemicals used in packaging, food storage and processing food could be damaging our health, scientists have warned.
  3. Black Sites across America (February 4, 2014)
    There are 2.3 million people in US prisons in conditions that are often inhumane and at worst life threatening. The most striking aspect of this scene is the lack of decent medical care for prisoners, whether in solitary confinement or in the general prison population.
  4. Scientific journal retracts study exposing GM cancer risk (December 5, 2013)
    The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology appears to have violated scientific standards by withdrawing a study which found that rats fed on a Monsanto GM corn were more likely to develop cancer than controls.
  5. The Sleepwalkers Are Revolting (November 22, 2013)
    The Center for Disease Control’s finding that sleep deprivation has reached epidemic proportions has failed to generate significant public outcry.
  6. Cancer is Capitalist Violence (November 15, 2013)
    It’s been two decades since the publication of Martha Balsham’s landmark study, “Cancer in the Community: Class and Medical Authority (1993).” Balshem, a hospital-based anthropologist, documented how a Philadelphia “lay community” rejected medical advice to stop smoking, eat fruits and vegetables and schedule regular screening tests. The working class community of Tannerstown (a pseudonym) instead blamed air pollution from highway traffic and nearby chemical plants, as well as fate, for their cancers.
  7. Held hostage by Big Pharma: a personal experience (2013)
    Mike Marqusee looks at how drug firms can make huge profits from their state-enforced monopoly on an essential good.
  8. Researchers find link between aircraft noise and heart disease (2013)
    Exposure to high levels of aircraft noise is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, two studies find. Researchers found increased risks of stroke, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease for both hospital admissions and mortality, especially among the 2% of the study population exposed to the highest levels of daytime and night time aircraft noise.
  9. Bad Pharma, Bad Journalism (October 23, 2012)
    ‘The drugs don't work: a modern medical scandal’, from Ben Goldacre's new book, Bad Pharma presents a disturbing picture emerges of corporate drug abuse.
  10. Medicare Myths and Realities (May 1, 2012)
    Since medicare is an extremely popular social program, the media and right-wing politicians have learned that it is unwise to attack it directly. Instead, they propagate myths designed to undermine public support for, and confidence in, the health care system, with the goal of gradually undermining and dismantling it.
  11. Island of the Widows (December 12, 2011)
    Mysterious kidney disease in Central America.
  12. Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
    Working together to secure a future for the past
  13. ER certainties: death and co-pays (September 1, 2011)
    Our society has made choices that dehumanize all of us. Dehumanization is felt inside and outside the shop floor. The HMO's bottom line is not about how well the patient's illness is treated, but how to minimize costs. They remind us employees daily that we're a business. The corporate ethos is the survival of the business above all, over anyone else's survival.
  14. Traffic Noise Increases the Risk of Having a Stroke, Study Suggests (January 27, 2011)
    Exposure to noise from road traffic can increase the risk of stroke, particularly in those aged 65 years and over.
  15. Asia Inhales While the West Bans the Deadly Carcinogen (February 16, 2010)
    Asbestos, a known carcinogen banned in much of the world, is a common and dangerous building block in much of Asia#s development and construction boom. This white powder causes 100,000 occupational deaths per year, according to Medical News Today.
  16. Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
    The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
  17. Your Money, Or Your Life (October 5, 2009)
    Single Payer will save lives, but it also will save money. The exorbitant salaries of Insurance Company CEOs will be eliminated. The profit motive for investors will be eliminated. Administrative costs will be reduced because one single payer will replace a large number of insurance companies - all with different forms, different standards, and different requirements for an endless stream of mind-numbing paper work.
  18. 5 Things the Corporate Media Don't Want You to Know About Cannabis (September 23, 2009)
    Recent scientific reports suggest that pot doesn't destroy your brain, that it doesn't cause lung damage like tobacco -- but you won't hear it in the corporate media.
  19. Treading the Borders Between Life and Death (September 22, 2009)
    During Israel#s Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 # January 2009, Israeli forces killed 16 emergency medical staff and injured 57. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), perhaps hundreds of those killed could have survived if emergency services had been able to access them promptly#the access denied to them can be defined as a deliberate violation of the Geneva Conventions and therefore a war crime.
  20. The misbegotten 'war against cancer' (September 21, 2009)
  21. Meet the Real Death Panels (September 18, 2009)
    Harvard-based researchers found that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a 25 percent excess death rate found in 1993.
  22. South Africa: Redouble Efforts to Reduce Maternal Mortality (September 10, 2009)
    Maternal health has been under the spotlight in South Africa after an analysis of maternal deaths was released in July showing an increase in the country#s maternal mortality rate. Researchers found that nearly four out of every 10 deaths (38.4 percent) were avoidable. They identified non-attendance and delayed attendance as common problems, together with poor transport facilities, lack of health care facilities and lack of appropriately trained staff.
  23. Health Care Around the World (August 31, 2009)
    Overview of the various ways health services are provided around the world, as well as accompanying issues and challenges. Topics include health as a human right, universal health care, and primary health care.
  24. Health and environmental victories for South African activists (August 20, 2009)
    In South Africa, major advances in health and the environment during the 2000s were only won by social activists by removing the profit motive.
  25. Israeli Doctors Collude in Torture (June 30, 2009)
    Israeli human rights groups charge that Israel#s watchdog body on medical ethics has failed to investigate evidence that doctors working in detention facilities are turning a blind eye to cases of torture.
  26. Testimony of David U. Himmelstein, M.D. before the HELP Subcommittee (April 23, 2009)
    A single-payer reform would make care affordable through vast savings on bureaucracy and profits. As my colleagues and I have shown in research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, administration consumes 31 percent of health spending in the United States, nearly double what Canada spends. In other words, if we cut our bureaucratic costs to Canadian levels, we'd save nearly $400 billion annually - more than enough to cover the uninsured and to eliminate co-payments and deductibles for all Americans.
  27. Addiction and Control (January 19, 2009)
    Prisons are very profitable. There are private prisons nowadays. The people that own them have, as their mission, first and foremost, the making of money. They need as many people as possible in prison to maximize their profits. They also need to spend as little as possible on the inmates and staff. Thus, America has over 2.3 million people incarcerated; more than any other country.
  28. What We Mean By Social Determinants of Health (September 9, 2008)
    Analyzes the changes in health conditions and quality of life in the populations of developed and developing countries over the past 30 years, resulting from neoliberal policies developed by many governments and promoted by international agencies. Critiquing a WHO report on social determinants of health, Navarro argues that it is not inequalities that kill people; it is those who are responsible for these inequalities that kill people.
  29. How we learned to stop having fun (April 2, 2007)
    We used to know how to get together and really let our hair down. Then, in the early 1600s, a mass epidemic of depression broke out - and we've been living with it ever since. Something went wrong, but what?
  30. Health care and children in crisis in Gaza (March 26, 2007)
    These days one hears a lot about Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, adults who have been specifically trained for warfare, who are nevertheless traumatized by the experience of seeing comrades injured or killed, or suffering injuries or danger themselves. The trauma goes on, long after the experience has ended and they are back in a place of safety. How much worse then for children in Gaza who witness and experience these events day after day, week after week with no end and with no place of safety.
  31. Noise Pollution: A Modern Plague (2007)
    Environmental noise pollution, a form of air pollution, is a threat to health and well-being. It is more severe and widespread than ever before, and it will continue to increase in magnitude and severity because of population growth, urbanization, and the associated growth in the use of increasingly powerful, varied, and highly mobile sources of noise. It will also continue to grow because of sustained growth in highway, rail, and air traffic, which remain major sources of environmental noise. The potential health effects of noise pollution are numerous, pervasive, persistent, and medically and socially significant.
  32. National Post columnist traumatized by having to wait his turn (December 26, 2006)
    Columnist thinks people with money should get quicker treatment in emergency rooms than people who are poor.
  33. Disaster and Mental Health (2005)
    The continuing Israeli military occupation of Gaza is the cause of deep and widespread trauma for Palestinian children and adults.
  34. Health Disparities By Race And Class: Why Both Matter (2005)
    This essay examines three competing causal interpretations of racial disparities in health. The first approach views race as a biologically meaningful category and racial disparities in health as reflecting inherited susceptibility to disease. The second approach treats race as a proxy for class and views socioeconomic stratification as the real culprit behind racial disparities. The third approach treats race as neither a biological category nor a proxy for class, but as a distinct construct, akin to caste. The essay points to historical, political, and ideological obstacles that have hindered the analysis of race and class as codeterminants of disparities in health.
  35. Inequalities Are Unhealthy (June 1, 2004)
    The growing inequalities we are witnessing in the world today are having a very negative impact on the health and quality of life of its populations.
  36. Anti-Vaccination Fever (2004)
    Sensationalist media, religious fanatics, and alternative medical practitioners fanned the fires created by questionable research to spawn worldwide epidemics of a disease that has almost been forgotten.
  37. The Truth About the Drug Companies (2004)
    The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion) [in 2002]. Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way.
  38. Abandoning the Public Interest (October 7, 2000)
    The neo-liberal drive to cut red tape is costing lives. Exposing the hidden costs of deregulation and privatization.
  39. Contamination: The Poisonous Legacy of Ontario's Environmental Cutbacks (June 4, 2000)
    The story of Ontario's right-way Harris government, which gutted health and environmental protection polices, leading to the Walkerton water disaster.
  40. Indoor Air Quality: No Scents is Good Sense (January 1, 1998)
    Establishing a scent-free workplace.
  41. Community Noise (1995)
    Critically reviews the adverse effects of community noise, including interference with communication, noise-induced hearing loss, annoyance responses, and effects on sleep, the cardiovascular and psychophysiological systems, performance, productivity, and social behaviour.
  42. Connexions Annual Overview: Health (October 1, 1989)

Selected Organizations, Websites and Links

  1. This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with health issues in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as health, health care, medicare, public health, health determinants, user fees, privatization, private clinics, pharmaceuticals industry, and occupational health and safety.
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
    CCOHS promotes a safe and healthy working environment by providing information and advice about occupational health and safety.
  • Canadian Doctors for Medicare
    One of the chief aims of Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDM) is to provide a counterpoint to organizations and interests advocating for two-tier medicine. Equally important, CDM's voice will complement the advocacy of other groups seeking to preserve and improve Medicare and fight against privatization.
  • The Canadian Health Coalition
    Dedicated to protecting and expanding Canada's public health system for the benefit of all Canadians.
  • HealthWatcher.net Consumer Health Watchdog
    Web site which seek to expose quackeryand bogus practices in health care, including cancer quackery and diet scams.
  • National Council Against Health Fraud
    Focusing on health misinformation, fraud, and quackery as public health problems. Our positions are based upon the principles of science that underlie consumer protection law. We advocate: (a) adequate disclosure in labeling and other warranties to enable consumers to make truly informed choices; (b) premarketing proof of safety and effectiveness for products and services claimed to prevent, alleviate, or cure any health problem; and, (c) accountability for those who violate the law.
  • Physicians for Human Rights - Israel
    Physicians For Human Rights-Israel was founded with the goal of struggling for human rights, in particular the right to health, in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Human dignity, wellness of mind and body and the right to health are at the core of the world view of the organization and direct and instruct our activities and efforts on both the individual and general level. Our activities integrate advocacy and action toward changing harmful policies and direct action providing healthcare.
  • Quackwatch
    Purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies. Its primary focus is on quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere. Includes links to other interesting websites.

Other Links & Resources

Gas masks


Books, Films and Periodicals

  1. This is a small sampling of books related to health issues in the Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as health, health care, medicare, public health, health determinants, user fees, privatization, private clinics, pharmaceuticals industry, and occupational health and safety.
  1. Betrayal of Trust
    The Collapse of Global Public Health
    Author: Garrett, Laurie
    The story of recent failings of public health systems across the globe.
  2. Big Pharma Making a killing
    New Internationalist November 2003
    A look at big pharmaceutical companies and issues surrounding their pursuit for profit at the expense of peoples' health.
  3. Deception By Design
    Pharmaceutical Promotion in the Third World
    Author: Lexchin, Joel
    The author discusses the workings of the pharmaceutical industry by exposing the unethical marketing practices, double standards and weak marketing codes.
  4. Health Hazard
    New Internationalist January/February 2001
    A look into the history of public health and the challenges it is facing.
  5. The No-Nonsense Guide to HIV/AIDS
    Author: Usdin, Shereen
    This book gives an overview of the origins of HIV, the ways in which it spreads, the profits made by drug companies, women's special vulnerability and the positive action being taken by people and communities to fight back.
  6. The No-Nonsense Guide to World Health
    Author: Usdin, Shereen
  7. Trick or Treatment?
    Alternative Medicine on Trial (North American title: Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine)
    Author: Singh, Simon; Ernst, Edzard
    Evaluates the scientific evidence for acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and chiropractic, and briefly covers 36 other treatments. It finds that the scientific evidence for these alternative treatments is generally lacking. Homeopathy is concluded to be completely ineffective: "It's nothing but a placebo, despite what homeopaths say"
    Although the book presents evidence that acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal remedies have limited efficacy for certain ailments, the authors conclude that the dangers of these treatments outweigh any potential benefits. Such potential risks outlined by the authors are contamination or unexpected interactions between components in the case of herbal medicine, risk of infection in the case of acupuncture and the potential for chiropractic manipulation of the neck to cause delayed stroke.


Learning from our Histor

Coming soon





Resources for Activists

The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists.

Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada's print and broadcast media. (CX5857).

Sources - A directory that enables journalists to find spokespersons of organizations. Organizations that list themselves in Sources signficantly increase their odds of getting called by reporters when they are doing a story of their issues..