Security has emerged as an important issue in the lead up to this year's federal election in Canada, but the understanding of it by the main parties is very narrow. It is focused largely on policing, criminal justice and the military.
If we look at the definition of security it is “the state of being free from danger or threat”; the dangers and threats we face globally are far greater than those posed by militant fundamentalists or even by criminals. This is not to deny the real danger and sense of threat that some of us experience from such people, nor is it to deny that some people are hurt, or tortured, even killed.
But if we step back and look at the bigger picture, the greatest universal threat to our security and that of our descendants – in Canada and globally - arises from climate change and from other global ecological changes that are underway and that we are causing. ...continue reading →
Michael Hamilton is a Consultant Physician and Medication Safety Specialist for ISMP Canada
The deaths of 15 children who received measles vaccination in Syria were initially suspected to have been caused by tainted vaccine or sabotage, but now appear to have been the result of a tragic error. In a statement on the interim findings of an investigation released on September 28, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that medical personnel most likely mixed the vaccine with the neuromuscular blocking agent atracurium, instead of the intended diluent. The atracurium had apparently been incorrectly added to vaccination packs in a district distribution centre. Like other neuromuscular blocking agents, atracurium paralyzes the muscles that are necessary for breathing and can only be used safely when mechanical ventilation is available to support breathing.
The fact that the potential for this type of tragedy had already been well-recognized makes the deaths of these innocent children all the more heartbreaking. Hundreds of errors with neuromuscular blocking agents have been reported around the world ...continue reading →