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. How the organized Left got Covid wrong, learned to love lockdowns and lost its mind (March 31, 2022)
    For two years the left has championed policies of surveillance and exclusion in the form of: punitive vaccine mandates, invasive vaccine passports, socially destructive lockdowns, and radically unaccountable censorship by large media and technology corporations. For the entire pandemic, leftists and liberals - call them the Lockdown Left - cheered on unprecedented levels of repression aimed primarily at the working class: those who could not afford private schools and could not comfortably telecommute from second homes.
  2. For Gaza patients, uncertainty over Israeli permits is a matter of life and death (August 4, 2020)
    Israel's permit regime has become even more arduous for Palestinian patients since the PA halted coordination, with rights groups trying to fill the vacuum.
  3. Thinking Clearly in a Time of Crisis (May 12, 2020)
    A crisis like this pandemic is not a time to stop thinking. It is a time when critical thinking and public discussion are more important than ever. A small number of officials and politicians are taking decisions with enormous and far-reaching implications for the lives of many people, not just for the duration of this pandemic, but far into the future. The time to have serious discussions about what they are doing, and the direction we are heading in, is now, not some day in the future when it will be difficult, or too late, to change course.
  4. Our leaders are terrified. Not of the virus - of us (March 24, 2020)
  5. Morality in an Amoral World (March 19, 2020)
    A crisis is a mirror. It shows us - if we have the courage to see - who we are as individuals and as a society. The self-congratulatory poses of governments, politicians, and state institutions are confronted with the harsh test of reality. Each of us - as individuals, friends, families, neighbours, communities - face new and sometimes difficult challenges. The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is such a crisis.
  6. The Only Treatment for Coronavirus Is Solidarity (March 13, 2020)
    We live in an interwoven, interconnected world where an injury to one is truly an injury to all. We must confront the coronavirus with solidarity and fight for a society where the health of all is more important than profits for a few.
  7. Capitalism is an Incubator for Pandemics: Socialism is the Solution (March 12, 2020)
    Coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the world. Capitalism cannot adequately respond to a global health crisis. That's why we need socialism.
  8. Capitalist agriculture and Covid-19: A deadly combination (March 11, 2020)
    The real danger of each new outbreak is the failure -- or better put -- the expedient refusal to grasp that each new Covid-19 is no isolated incident. The increased occurrence of viruses is closely linked to food production and the profitability of multinational corporations. Anyone who aims to understand why viruses are becoming more dangerous must investigate the industrial model of agriculture and, more specifically, livestock production. At present, few governments, and few scientists, are prepared to do so. Quite the contrary.
  9. Air pollution now 'largest health crisis' (November 23, 2018)
    The WHO estimates that seven million premature deaths are linked to air pollution every year, of which nearly 600,000 are children who are uniquely vulnerable.
  10. "Right to Try" Is a Cruel Farce (August 12, 2018)
    Drug companies want you to think they're providing glimmers of hope to terminally ill patients. Don't believe them.
  11. The birth of the Cuban polyclinic (June 28, 2018)
    During the 1960s, Cuban medicine experienced changes as tumultuous as the civil rights and antiwar protests in the United States. While activists, workers, and students in western Europe and the United States confronted existing institutions of capitalism and imperialism, Cuba faced the even greater challenge of building a new society.
  12. Ten Theses on Farming and Disease (June 8, 2017)
    There’s a growing understanding of the functional relationships health, food justice, and the environment share. They’re not just ticks on a checklist of good things capitalism shits on.
  13. Ontario health-care reform and Community Health Centres (January 7, 2017)
    We already have a working model of primary care that targets these populations and that is very good at dealing with complex needs and providing holistic care. Community Health Centres (CHCs) have been in existence for decades all over Canada, providing care to communities that are not well served by other models of primary care.
  14. The Precautionary Principle: the basis of a post-GMO ethic (April 18, 2016)
    GMOs have been in our diets for about 20 years. Proof that they are safe? No way - it took much, much longer to discover the dangers of cigarettes and transfats, dangers that are far more visible than those of GMOs. On the scale of nature and ecology, 20 years is a pitifully short time. To sustain our human future, we have to think long term.
  15. What is Meant by 'Single-Payer' in the Current Discussion of Health Care Reforms During the Primaries? (March 10, 2016)
    Single-payer means that most of the funds used to pay for medical care are public, that is, they are paid with taxes. The government, through a public authority, is the most important payer for medical care services and uses this power to influence the organization of health care. The overwhelming majority of developed countries have one form or another of a single-payer system.
  16. Uranium Mine and Mill Workers are Dying, and Nobody Will Take Responsibility (February 15, 2016)
    To talk to former uranium miners and their families is to talk about the dead and the dying. Brothers and sisters, coworkers and friends: a litany of names and diseases. Many were, as one worker put it, "ate up with cancer," while others died from various lung and kidney diseases.
  17. How Class Kills (November 8, 2015)
    A recent study showing rising mortality rates among middle-aged whites drives home the lethality of class inequality.
  18. 'Worse Than We Thought': TPP A Total Corporate Power Grab Nightmare (November 5, 2015)
    On issues ranging from climate change to food safety, from open Internet to access to medicines, the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) is a disaster.
  19. TPP is "Worst Trade Agreement" for Medicine Access, Says Doctors Without Borders (October 7, 2015)
    The TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] will…go down in history as the worst trade agreement for access to medicines in developing countries, said Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a statement following the signing of the TPP trade deal.
  20. What We Don't Know Will Hurt Us: Ignorance In The Information Age (August 13, 2015)
    The war on knowledge is a war on the health of Canadians. We need a government that will embrace the information age and use evidence to improve our lives. We need a government that has the health of Canadians as its greatest priority. Ten years in, it’s clear that that government is not Stephen Harper’s.
  21. Restrict antibiotics to medical use, or they will soon become ineffective (April 6, 2015)
    Antibiotics have saved hundreds of millions of lives since they came into use in the 1930s, but their power is running dry thanks to their massive use in factory farming, horticulture, aquaculture and industry.
  22. Health Care and Immigration Policies that Kill (March 17, 2015)
    Cuts to Canada's Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), severely curtail access to health-care services for refugee claimants and refugees. Many beneficiaries and practitioners were already critical of the original IFHP because it provided inconsistent access to health care and many services were not covered. The situation only worsened after the cuts.
  23. What austerity has done to Greek healthcare (January 26, 2015)
    The shocking 'austerity'-imposed destruction of Greece's once proud healthcare system is a key reason Greeks have turned to Syriza, finds London GP Louise Irvine in an eye witness account.
  24. Film Review: Revolutionary Medicine - A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital (September 13, 2014)
    A review of the provocative documentary Revolutionary Medicine, which tells the story of the first Garifuna hospital, in Honduras.
  25. Moral bankruptcy of capitalism': UK's top public doctor shames western society over Ebola (August 3, 2014)
    Western countries should tackle drugs firms' "scandalous" reluctance to invest in research into the virus which has already killed over 700 people in West Africa, the UK's top public doctor said, adding, “They'd find a cure if Ebola came to London.”
  26. It's Raining Bombs and Shells (July 31, 2014)
    I’m still alive. I don’t know what this means, but I can say that most of the time I can still walk and do some work with people who need help. It all depends on my luck. And here, for people living in Gaza, luck means how close to you the bombs fall from Israel’s tanks, planes, or warships. Some hours it’s raining bombs. Americans say “It’s raining cats and dogs.” In the new Gaza idiom, we say “It’s raining bombs and shells.”
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Island of the Widows (December 12, 2011)
    Mysterious kidney disease in Central America.
  38. Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
    Working together to secure a future for the past
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. The misbegotten 'war against cancer' (September 21, 2009)
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. Speech at Dr. Khan's Talk (May 20, 2008)
  55. 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?
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. Anti-Vaccination Fever (January 1, 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. Contamination: The Poisonous Legacy of Ontario's Environmental Cutbacks (June 4, 2000)
    The story of Ontario's right-wing Harris government, which gutted health and environmental protection polices, leading to the Walkerton water disaster.
  65. Indoor Air Quality: No Scents is Good Sense (January 1, 1998)
    Establishing a scent-free workplace.
  66. 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.
  67. Health News Briefs 1992- 1994 (January 1, 1995)
    A round-up of health care in the news, 1992 - 1994.
  68. Health News Briefs 1987 - 1991 (January 1, 1992)
    A round-up of health care in the news, 1987 - 1991.
  69. Taking the Scents out of Sensitive
    Many people are adversely affected by the chemicals in scented products.
  70. 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.
    A web portal featuring information and resources about health, with articles, documents, books, websites, and experts and spokespersons. The home page features a selection of recent and important articles. A search feature, subject index, and other research tools make it possible to find additional resources and information.
  • 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 Farms Make Big Flu
    Dispatches on Influenza, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science
    Author: Wallace, Rob
    An examination of the relationships between infectious disease, agriculture, economics, and the nature of science.
  3. 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.
  4. Deception By Design
    Pharmaceutical Promotion in the Third World
    Author: Lexchin, Joel; Kaur, Shila Rani
    The authors discuss the workings of the pharmaceutical industry by exposing the unethical marketing practices, double standards and weak marketing codes.
  5. Health Hazard
    New Internationalist January/February 2001
    A look into the history of public health and the challenges it is facing.
  6. How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps
    Author: El-Gingihy, Youssef
    The story of how the British National Health Service (NHS) has been gradually converted into a market-based healthcare system over the past 25 years. This process is accelerating under the Coalition government and the very existence of a National Health Service is in danger.
  7. Medical Reform Newsletter
    Newsletters published by the Medical Reform Group of Ontario. The newsletters were published under several different names, including Medical Reform Group News; MRG Newsletter, and Medical Reform. The Connexions Archive has an almost-complete set.
  8. 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.
  9. The No-Nonsense Guide to World Health
    Author: Usdin, Shereen
  10. Revolutionary Medicine - A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital
    Author: Geglia, Beth; Freeston, Jesse (directors)
    The story of the building of a hospital in Ciriboya, Honduras -- an authentic, grass-roots, community development project, from the initial community meetings, the organized planning, the community defense committees, to the actual bricks, mortar and staffing. The viewer of Revolutionary Medicine is guided through the process in a series of compelling interviews with doctors, patients and community protagonists.
  11. 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.

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