A Regular Person

On Wednesday afternoons I am the psychiatrist for a clinic for young people suffering from psychotic illnesses. These young people have serious and chronic conditions. They have a long road of recovery ahead of them, but they are moving forward. It is inspiring to see their efforts and to be an influence in their progress.…

Mindfulness and Marmalade

About one month ago I made marmalade with the Seville oranges that are imported to Canada from Spain in the late winter. Seville oranges are said to make the best marmalade and so, every March, I buy five oranges, add the right amount of sugar and water and one lemon and make a dozen jars…

Medicinal Marijuana – An Oxymoron?

April 1, 2014 is going to be April Fool’s Day for Canadian Physicians as the Government of Canada’s new policy on medicinal marijuana comes into effect. By all accounts, producers of marijuana around the country are preparing themselves to supply marijuana to the thousands of Canadians who will now have to obtain this through the…

Never miss a party…

On Friday, January 10, 2014 Sam Berns died of, well, old age. While that in itself is not remarkable, what is remarkable is that Sam Berns was only 17 when he died of old age. He suffered from Progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome), a genetic disorder which manifests in rapid, premature aging. It is rare: there…

Rachel’s Daughters

I first appreciated that a part of my heritage was Jewish is Grade 5. My teacher, Mrs. Regent, was Jewish and she taught our class about the traditions of Hanukkah, making latkes for us and telling us the story of the light that burned for 8 days. I had not heard this story so memorably…

My 100 Mile Diet

About five years ago, two books began to influence how I thought about the food my family ate. One was Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and the second was The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon. A first consideration of this new…

Good Death

The term, “euthanasia” is derived from the Greek and means, literally, good death, and my intention in writing this essay is to focus on what a good death might be using my favourite book about the subject, Sherwin Nuland’s How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter, as my touchstone. (Vintage Books, 2010 edition page…