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The Zonta Club of Victoria 2014 Challenge

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The Zonta Club of Victoria 2014 Challenge

A Call to Action for the CWHN, 'Hear Ye, Hear Ye!'

 

The Zonta Club of Victoria invites all Zonta Clubs in Canada to “match or better” our donation of $500 to the Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN). We encourage you to stand up for the CWHN and voice your concerns. Join us and demonstrate your commitment to women’s health by becoming members of the CWHN.

As Zontians, we have the power to make a significant difference to the sustainability and future of this important Canadian women’s health organization. By joining together and supporting the hundreds of women's health researchers, including students, and grass root partnerships across Canada, we can and will send a powerful message to Ottawa. As Zontians, we are speaking up for the CWHN and we are saying: “Enough is enough: we value the CWHN. The health and equity rights of women, girls and families in Canada must be respected and defended.”

As Zontians and advocates for the status of women worldwide, let us collectively endorse and support the CWHN! We cannot allow the work and mission of the Canadian Women's Health Network to disappear and be lost forever. If we lose the CWHN, then who will be left to speak for the health rights of Canada’s socially excluded and forgotten populations? Who will speak for the health of our daughters and grand daughters?

Drug Bust... Mammography's days are numbered

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Before the "pink" season reaches us, it's a good time to prepare, by reading about breast cancer overdiagnosis. In Drug Bust, Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher, quotes Dr. Peter Gotzsche, a Danish physician and one of the world’s experts on the science behind breast cancer screening, as saying: “The most effective method we have to reduce the occurrence of breast cancer is to stop screening.”

Read Drug Bust.

Cassels is the author of Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease, which has a chapter devoted to the breast cancer screening debate. Read CWHN's review of Seeking Sickness. 

 

Abortion clinic plan shut down in PEI

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Plans for a clinic that would offer abortion services on Prince Edward Island have been shut down, according to a story on CBC. Currently, women must leave the province to obtain the procedure.

Read Abortion clinic plan shut down mid-process, says federation.

Looking back at breast cancer

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In a blog post for Women's Review of Books, Ellen Leopold writes about breast cancer memoirs from decades before breast cancer activism by women took hold. "It’s easy to forget that women’s writing about breast cancer is of relatively recent vintage. But until the 1970s, the disease was the exclusive province of medical men—and their textbooks," she writes.

Read her blog post, Writing About Breast Cancer: From Books to Blogs.

Leopold is the author of the recent book, My Soul is Among Lions: Pages from the Breast Cancer Archives.

Watch out on our website in the coming weeks for a review of Leopold's book, as well as two other related reviews of memoirs by Canadian breast cancer survivors.

Questioning the ethics of female genital cosmetic surgery

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CWHN's sexual health blogger, Lyba Spring is mentioned in this recent article in the Ottawa Citizen on female genital cosmetic surgery, 

Read the article by Sharon Kirkey here: Is it unethical for Canadian doctors to perform female genital cosmetic surgery?

A legal challenge that threatens medicare

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A recent op-ed in the Vancouver Sun discusses an "unprecedented legal challenge to Canadian public health care that will put the fundamental Canadian principle of care based on need, not ability to pay, on trial."

The case is being led by Vancouver doctor Brain Day who has come into public view before for unlawfully billing patients for health care services.

According to the Sun commentary by Monika Dutt and Rachel Tutte, "Dr. Day hopes to strike down the rules that prevent a U.S.-style system in Canada, where some people get to pay privately to jump the queue. His claim is that B.C.’s Medicare rules violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

"It is hard to overstate the significance of this challenge," the authors write."If Dr. Day wins, the public system that Canadians rely on — and overwhelmingly support — will be dismantled across the country. We will be left with a system that looks very much like that of the United States — physicians will be permitted to charge patients any amount they like for services, and the rich elite will get care faster than the rest of us."

Read A legal challenge threatening medicare: No evidence that for-profit health care results in better outcomes.

 

High cost of cheap manicures

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Judith Timson writes in the Toronto Star on April 30 about the growing health issue” of “mani-pedis” - manicures and pedicures - to the workers who provide them.

This was the focus of a recent event in Toronto sponsored by The National Network on Environments and Women’s Health (NNEWH), and Central Toronto Community Health Centres (CTCHC).  Activists from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative spoke about the array of chemicals that nail salon workers - generally women - face in their jobs.

In her article, Timson quotes Anne Rochon Ford of NNEWH and the Executive Director of the CWHN, “We’re about 10 years behind where California is in bringing awareness of these issues.”

Read Cheap manicures can have a high health cost.

 

Former Merck employee calls HPV vaccine 'greatest medical scandal of all time'

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A physician formerly employed by Merck (the manufacturer of the HPV vaccine Gardasil) was quoted in the April 2014 issue of the French magazine Principes de Santé (Health Principles), with a strong warning against Gardasil. Dr. Bernard Dalbergue said,“I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all times because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers.”

Read more about his comments in Health Impact News.

Is the US decision against flibanserin really discrimination?

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The strongly contested views on "female sexual dysfunction" were fuelled last October when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied Sprout Pharmaceutical’s bid to market flibanserin, a drug aimed at treating low sexual desire in women.

Eight women’s groups, including the National Organization of Women, protested the decision, saying that it was discriminatory to women.  But Paul D. Thacker, the author of an article in Slate.com, has looked farther into this issue, and has asked where the idea that sexism is to blame for the FDA’s rejection of flibanserin came from. “It appears from Sprout itself,” he writes, adding, “Many of the doctors accusing the FDA of sexism have received some sort of monetary compensation from Sprout.”

Read How to Handle FDA Rejection: Women’s groups are calling the FDA sexist for not approving female Viagra. They are so wrong. (Slate.com)

Massive prescribing of Seroquel for Canadian female prisoners

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CBC reports this week that the Federal ombudsman is investigating an 'outrageous' number of female inmates who have been put on Seroquel, a mood-altering medication, allegedly to 'control behaviour.' 

According to the CBC, Seroquel was “for years being prescribed in Canadian prisons for unapproved purposes, raising concerns the drug was being used to "subdue" or "sedate" inmates.”

Read Prisoners given powerful drugs off-label, allegedly to 'control behaviour'

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