Posts tagged ‘health law’

December 11, 2013

G8 Dementia Summit Gets Underway

The G8 Dementia Summit starts today in London, bringing together ministers, researchers, pharmaceutical companies and charities to discuss the many facets of an increasingly prevalent condition.  The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, 35.6 million people have dementia and 7.7 million new cases are added every year. 65.7 million people will be living with dementia globally by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050, with much of the increase occurring in developing countries.  1.4 million Canadians are expected to be affected by 2040.

The conference can be viewed live.

November 14, 2012

What might “brain viewing” technology mean for the law concerning consent and capacity

The article below shows how advances in medicine have permitted doctors to communicate with a man in what was believed to be a persistent vegetative state.  By looking at brain activity through MRI, doctors were able to ask the patient questions and interpret the brain activity as yes or no responses.  Most importantly, they were able to determine that the patient was not in pain, allowing him a direct say in his care. 

While good news in and of itself, this advance, and those that are certain to follow, will undoubtedly impact on how some personal care decisions will be made in future.  In circumstances where medical professionals and a substitute decision-maker at are odds regarding the care of a loved one, in particular in dealing with end of life issues, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could ask the patient.  While the circumstances of this gentleman’s state of health appear to be quite different from those that the Supreme Court of Canada will be dealing with in the Rasouli case or Desmond Watson’s situation, perhaps one day the role of the courts in these matters will be but a memory.–vegetative-ontario-man-scott-routley-talks-to-researchers-through-brain-scans