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Macleans

Melatonin Banned

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 18, 1995. Partner content is not updated.

That frustration is fuelled not only by melatonin's proven ability to counter insomnia and jet lag, but also by an array of experts touting it as a wonder drug that can extend life and help to combat a wide variety of illnesses, including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy.

Article

Quarantine Act

Canada adopted quarantine legislation in 1872, five years after Confederation. It was replaced by the current Quarantine Act, which was passed by the Parliament of Canada and received royal assent in 2005. The act gives sweeping powers to the federal health minister to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases. These powers can include health screenings, the creation of quarantine facilities and mandatory isolation orders. The Quarantine Act was introduced in the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) crisis of 2003. It was invoked in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macleans

Depression

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 1, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

The first serious bout was back in 1963, when he was attending Queen's University and, just before final exams, locked himself in his dorm room for two weeks.

Macleans

Viagra Hits Canada

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 22, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

Bill Smith, a 55-year-old heavy-machine operator from Fredericton, knows these are his salad days revisited. As one of 500 Canadian men participating in the clinical trials of the impotency drug Viagra, he has been getting samples for two years. "They're free, so why not use them?" he says.

Macleans

Olestra Controversy

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on February 5, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

Pass the potato chips. Olestra, a new synthetic food oil with zero calories, is promising to take the fat - and the guilt - out of greasy junk food. "This is something people really want," says Chris Hassall, a senior scientist with Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co.

Article

Disability

Disability is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the temporary, prolonged or permanent reduction or absence of the ability to perform certain commonplace activities or roles, sometimes referred to as activities of daily living.

Article

Blindness and Visual Impairment

In Canada the largest agency serving blind and visually impaired persons is The Canadian National Institute for the Blind. CNIB has 9 geographic service divisions with over 60 regional offices, and the CNIB Library for the Blind serves all areas of Canada.

Article

Vaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada

Vaccination is the introduction of a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a disease. Vaccine hesitancy is the refusal or delayed acceptance of vaccination due to fears or anxiety about vaccines. It includes a range of concerns such as uncertainty about vaccines’ contents and their safety and the belief that vaccines are responsible for causing other medical conditions (e.g., autism). Other factors include opposition to state control and infringement on individual liberty, suspicions about the pharmaceutical industry and a declining faith in science and medicine. In Canada, as in other wealthy countries, vaccine hesitancy has increased in recent years.

Article

Childbirth in Canada

Childbirth is the beginning of a child’s life and a powerful rite of passage for the mother. Methods vary according to culture and time periods. Before the 19th century, Canadians relied mostly on the help of midwives, as well as prayers and even superstitions, to face the intense pains of contractions. Advances in the field of obstetrics in the 19th and 20th centuries introduced new ways of shortening the length of childbirth and managing its pains. Those developments also resulted in the transition of childbirth from homes to hospitals. Today, the different methods of childbirth can involve the help of physicians, midwives and doulas.

Article

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Canada

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that affects individuals exposed to trauma (although not all people exposed to trauma develop PTSD). Studies suggest that over 70 per cent of Canadians have been exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, and that nearly 1 out of 10 Canadians may develop PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD can affect adults and children and can appear months or even years after exposure to the trauma.

Article

Canada and the Development of the Polio Vaccine

During the first half of the 20th century, poliomyelitis, a.k.a. polio or “The Crippler,” hit Canada harder than anywhere else. Successive polio epidemics peaked in a national crisis in 1953. By that time, however, scientists at Connaught Medical Research Laboratories of the University of Toronto had made key discoveries that enabled American medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk to prepare the first polio vaccine. Connaught Labs also solved the problem of producing the vaccine on a large scale. Canada went on to play an important role in the development of the oral polio vaccine and international efforts to eradicate the disease.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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History of Medicine to 1950

The theory and practice of medicine in Canada changed significantly from the 16th to the 20th century, with important developments in medical education and regulation, understanding of anatomy and disease, public health and immunization, and pharmacology.