A conversation about assisted death UC, Feb 4, 2016 4:30-6pm

A Conversation About Assisted Death

Event Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 16:30 to 18:00

"It was the first time that we had sort of articulated our major problem. She wanted to die and I wanted her to live and we were enemies who loved each other" - All My Puny Sorrows
Miriam Toews
Barker Fairley Distinguished Visitor in Canadian Studies, University College
Author, All My Puny Sorrows, A Complicated Kindness
Winner, Governor General's Award for Fiction, Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award
Dr. James Downar
Critical Care and Palliative Care Physician
University Health Network
Dr. Rose Geist
Director of Collaborative Care, Medical Psychiatry Alliance
Medical Psychiatrist, Hospital for Sick Children,
University of Toronto
Trudo Lemmens
Professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law Policy
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Thursday February 4, 2016
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
University College, 15 King's College Circle, Room 140
Reception to follow


UTSA PANEL Jan 26: A Clash of Medical Systems? A Critical Discussion on the Art of Healing

UTSSA presents:
A Clash of Medical Systems? A Critical Discussion on the Art of Healing

Tuesday, January 26th, 6-8pm
East Common Room, Hart House, University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle, Toronto
Tickets at
($4 student, $12 non-student)
Dr. Timothy Cook M.D., Dr. Alistar Dias Ph.D., and Dr. Michael Richards, M.D.

Health is one of the key attributes of a good life. Core to any healing art is a strong ethical system, but agreeing to a standard of practice leaves considerable room for disagreement. The best care requires and open mind and unbiased consideration of all treatments, yet ethics of do no harm restricts practices to those of proven efficacy. What does this evidence look like? What modalities do we embrace? What is the role of tradition? Are complementary and alternative medicine what they claim to be? Has science become restrictive, focusing on the wrong stuff and becoming a roadblock to a healthy lifestyle?

Meet our expert panel of medical professionals from across the spectrum of medical approaches.
Q&A to follow.

Dr. Michael Richards, MD, is an eye physician and surgeon at Sick Kids Hospital, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, and a PhD student at the University of Toronto in the department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences
Dr. Alistar Dias, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Biology at the University of Toronto, and teaches an upper year course whose overall goal is to give students a better understanding of complementary and integrative medicine from a scientific perspective.
Dr. Timothy Cook, MD, is the Medical Director & Specialist of Internal Medicine & Integrative health at P3 Integrative Health Services, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He holds a Masters in public health, as well as a University of Toronto teaching appointment. He is a retired Lieutenant-colonel of the Canadian Forces Medical Services and has served as the personal physician to two Governor Generals of Canada.


Humanist Refugee Resettlement Project

Letter from Moses Klein, Humanist Association of Toronto

Dear HAT members and supporters,
I am writing this as we are all coming to grips with the horror, the tragedy and the senselessness of the Paris attacks. Beyond the shock of November 13th, I have been struck with the vast range of responses, from the inspiring example of the Parisians who opened their doors to strangers, to the disturbing hate crimes committed in many countries around the world, including at least one instance in Toronto.  Many of the victims of these hate crimes are themselves refugees fleeing ISIS. As humanists, I hope you agree it is the hospitable Parisians who ought to be emulated.
With that in mind, I am inviting you to support the Humanist Association of Toronto in its latest project. We are working in partnership with Oraynu (the Jewish secular humanist organization) and possibly other allied organizations seeking to sponsor a Syrian refugee family to come to Canada. This was a plan we were already discussing before this month’s attacks, but it seems ever more important now to demonstrate that our society is a generous and welcoming one. The success of this project depends on your help, in two important ways.
Financial assistance: Sponsoring organizations need to raise the equivalent of one year of welfare before the sponsorship can proceed. At our October 2015 steering committee meeting, HAT committed to raise $9000, which would be 1/3 of the required amount for a family of four.
Settlement assistance: After our refugee family has arrived, they may still need assistance in other forms. Can you volunteer to help find an apartment, take them on errands, translate for them (if their English is inadequate), etc.? Would you have old clothes or furniture to donate? This is in the future, but we would like to compile a list of people to call on.
If you would like to help this effort in any way, please fill out the form on the next page and mail it to
Humanist Association of Toronto
PO Box 68559
360A Bloor St. W.
Toronto, ON   M5S 1X1
You can also reply through email.
Thanks for your support,
Moses Klein (for the HAT steering committee

I want to help HAT settle a refugee family in Toronto
[  ]          I am helping out financially. Here is my tax-deductible cheque for ____________ payable to Humanist Association of Toronto. (Please write “refugee” on the memo line.) You can also send an Interac transfer to, or by Paypal at .
[  ]          I can help with settlement by ______________________________________________________.
(Please describe what you can offer.) You can also reply by email to
[  ]          I would like to help with the committee coordinating the refugee project. You can also reply by email to
Name: ________________________________
Address: ___________________________________________
Phone: _____________________
Email: ______________________


Humanists for Social and Environmental Action: Turkey Detains Academics as Chomsky Takes Aim at Erdoğan's Brutality

Humanists for Social and Environmental Action: Turkey Detains Academics as Chomsky Takes Aim at Erdoğan's Brutality

Global outcry over academic freedom and human rights has erupted following news on Friday that the Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has arrested at least 18 academics and scholars for signing an open letter last week calling for the end of Turkey's brutal treatment of the country's Kurdish people.

The controversy has been elevated internationally by the involvement of Noam Chomsky and other
high-profile academics who have also expressed public contempt for Turkey's policies towards the Kurds as well as Erdoğan's double-standards on fighting "terrorism" both inside his own country and
in neighboring Syria.

(see full article in the Guardian. Links above)

Canada's high court gives green light to assisted suicide | Reuters

Canada's high court gives green light to assisted suicide | Canada | Reuters
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Supreme Court of Canada decided on Friday to allow doctor-assisted suicide across the country under certain circumstances, while giving the government more time to pass a law governing the practice.
The decision came as officials confirmed that a patient had already been helped to die in the French-speaking province of Quebec. The court had overturned a ban on physician-assisted suicide  last February, putting Canada in the company of a handful of Western  countries to make it legal.
But it had said the decision would not take effect for a year, giving the government time to produce legislation.


Freedom of Research, Science for Peace meeting Jan 14, open to public

January 14th: Combating Distortions of Scientific Research
S4P has Several ongoing projects concern combating distortions of scientific research.  This is an attempt to get those active in these efforts tog ather to discuss future plans. It is formally a meeting of the Working Group on Freedom of Research of Science for Peace, but it is open to the public.

Time: 4:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon 14 January.
Place: WI2007D, University of Toronto.   go in the 40 Willcocks Street entrance of New College and go up to the second floor.)

Some of us have been working against restrictions on federally funded research, for example, on the
Some have been working on defence of research in the health sciences against distortion by pharmaceutical industry funders.
Some have acted to expose unsupported claims of harmlessness of genetically modified organisms and products derived from them.
The need for watchdogs on government and industry in such matters is as great as ever.  Let us try to contribute.

Chandler Davis