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Vera Peters

Mildred Vera Lobb (née Peters), OC, physician, radiation oncologist, researcher (born 28 April 1911 in Thistletown, ON; died 1 October 1993 in Toronto, ON). Known professionally as Dr. Vera Peters, she conducted groundbreaking research on Hodgkin’s disease, now known as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and breast cancer, which led to changes in the way these diseases are treated. (See also Cancer; Breast Cancer Research in Canada.) Peters was also a pioneer of patient-centered care, which prioritizes patients in the decision-making process for medical treatment, and which is now the standard model in health care.

Article

Henrietta Muir Edwards

Henrietta Louise Edwards (née Muir), women’s rights activist, reformer, artist (born 18 December 1849 in Montreal, Canada East; died 9 November 1931 in Fort Macleod, AB). Henrietta Edwards fought from a young age for women’s rights and education, as well as women’s work and health. She helped establish many movements, societies and organizations aimed at improving the lives of women, and was instrumental in passing Alberta’s Dower Act in 1917. She was also one of the Famous Five behind the Persons Case, the successful campaign to have women declared persons in the eyes of British law. However, her views on immigration and eugenics have been criticized as racist and elitist. She was named a Person of National Historic Significance in 1962 and an honorary senator in 2009.

Article

Abortion in Canada

Abortion is the premature ending of a pregnancy. Inducing an abortion was a crime in Canada until 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the law as unconstitutional. Since then, abortion has been legal at any stage in a woman’s pregnancy. Abortion is publicly funded as a medical procedure under the Canada Health Act. (See Health Policy.) However, access to abortion services differs across the country. Despite its legalization, abortion remains one of the most divisive political issues of our time.

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Joyce Echaquan Livestreams Hospital Staff’s Refusal to Treat Her before She Dies

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At a hospital in Joliette, Quebec, Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw woman and a mother of seven, died shortly after she livestreamed a nurse and an orderly refusing to tend to her as they made racist, derogatory comments about her. On 5 October, coroner Gehane Kamel reported that hospital staff failed to properly assess the heart palpitations Echaquan was experiencing and instead assumed she was suffering from opioid withdrawal. When Echaquan became distressed and agitated, hospital staff called her “theatrical” and strapped her to a bed. Kamel called the incident an “undeniable” example of systemic racism. A lawyer for Echaquan’s family planned to file a human rights complaint and a civil suit against the hospital.