Cancer controversies and traditional medicines

Today I write for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post.

The story of cancer patient Ric Richardson, a Métis man from Green Lake, challenges us to think about patient autonomy, medical traditions and Saskatchewan health care.

Just as crucial, his story forces us to reconsider the use and acceptance of traditional Aboriginal knowledge — not only in medicine but in society more broadly.

The full story can be read here:

http://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/cancer-controversies-and-traditional-medicines 

Vape Fear – Updated

November 25, 2016 – CBC NEWS

Vaping, e-cigarettes to be regulated by Health Canada

The federal government plans to regulate e-cigarettes to make vaping products less accessible to young people.

“The proposed act amends the Tobacco Act to regulate vaping products as a separate class of products,” Health Canada said in a statement on Tuesday November, 22.

The aim is to protect young people and non-users from nicotine addiction while allowing adults access to e-cigarettes.

“We know that there is some evidence to suggest that the use of vaping products can be used as a harm-reduction tool for people who are current smokers,” Health Minister Jane Philpott told reporters in the Commons.

“But at same time, they have [been] shown to be an enticement for young people to take up smoking and become addicted to nicotine.”

The government aims to regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of e-cigarettes and vaping products.

A key part of the legislation introduced in the Senate is to regulate health claims, such as that a vaping product will help smokers quit.

The legislation would cover vaping products with and without nicotine.

Other measures in the proposed legislation include:

  • A ban on the sale and promotion of all vaping products to those under age 18.
  • Prohibiting the promotion of flavours that appeal to youth, such as candy flavours.
  • Creating regulatory authority to display health warnings on vaping devices.

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Here’s my original article.

In Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake of Cape Fear, Robert De Niro plays sociopathic Max Cady, who has recently been released from prison. Years earlier, his attorney, Sam Bowden portrayed by Nick Nolte, deliberately withheld evidence during a criminal trial which would have seen Cady acquitted.

This of course enraged Cady and fueled a desire for revenge. As punishment, he stalked and brutalized the Bowden family. Yet, being a true believer, he also felt that by carrying out his terrible deeds he was helping Bowden achieve a type of moral and spiritual redemption. In short, he felt his actions were serving Bowden’s interests.

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In 2016, consumers, politicians, and health officials are going through Vape Fear. Due to lack of evidence, we are being tested by a product in the marketplace with a potential to improve health outcomes and cause other, if unknown, health problems.

It’s a dual-purpose product, in that it has recreational and medical applications. And in the public arena, opponents and supporters of e-cigarette regulations have contested the best approach to it.

Supporters of stiff regulation declare that children and young people need to be shielded from products that imitate smoking and might encourage nicotine addiction. (Think Mrs. Lovejoy in the Simpsons.) They favour regulation that might guarantee product safety and quality. These individuals also usually advocate on behalf of a precautionary approach – at least until there is sufficient evidence that e-cigarettes don’t undermine recent successes at controlling tobacco.

Opponents of stiff regulation, by contrast, argue that vaping is significantly less harmful than conventional cigarettes and beneficial in helping smokers to quit. They want minimal restrictions on availability and often absolute freedom for advertising, promotion and the use of e-cigarettes in public. (Think Charlton Heston and guns being pried from his cold dead hands.) Restrictions, this camp argues, might put off smokers from swapping to safer alternatives and limit the opportunity of curbing tobacco consumption. Here harm reduction trumps all other suits.

Now, against this messy backdrop, governments have taken action.

New EU regulations in May imposed standardised quality control on liquids and vaporisers across the union. They also required disclosure of ingredients in vaping liquids and child-proofing and tamper-proofing for liquid packaging.  And the NHS has backed e-cigarettes as a quitting aid.

In March, the Scottish government’s Health Bill banned under-18s from both buying the devices and limiting their advertising, which followed Health Scotland’s position paper in March 2015 that “NHS Boards must balance the benefits of e-cigarettes use to smokers with any potential concerns about impact on non-smokers.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has also taken broad steps to crack down for the first time on e-cigarettes, which have been growing in popularity among teens and is projected to be a 4 billion dollar industry this year.

The Food and Drug Administration’s move in May brought regulation of e-cigarettes in line with existing rules for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco. This had been highly anticipated after the FDA issued a proposed rule two years ago on how to supervise the e-cigarette industry.

“Millions of kids are being introduced to nicotine every year, a new generation hooked on a highly addictive chemical,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell stated during the announcement of the new rules. She asserted too that health officials still don’t have the scientific evidence showing e-cigarettes can help smokers quit, as the industry asserts, and avoid the known ills of tobacco.

In all of this, though, a Vape Fear persisted.

Similarly, heart experts recently found that vaping damages key blood vessels in the heart in a similar way to normal cigarettes, and it’s “far more dangerous than people realize.” University College London heart expert Professor Robert West noted, “It would certainly be fair to say the study shows electronic cigarettes are not without any risk.”

Researchers at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Rome thus decided to call the NHS decision to support e-cigarettes “premature.”

Added to all this is the idea of vaping garage labs, a part of e-cigarette mythology that’s difficult to shake. While no one has been publicly exposed for mixing juice in an actual garage, many in the industry have confessed privately that some set-ups that are only marginally better. It was and remains the nascent industry’s dirty little secret.

In my home country of Canada, Vape Fear is certainly present. According to the CBC’s celebrity doctor Brian Goldman, “my sense is that key thought leaders in Canada are alarmist about e-cigarettes.” They “ignore evidence,” “cling to the notion that nicotine addiction, as opposed to combusted tobacco products, is the paramount health problem,” and “overestimate concerns that e-cigarettes act as a gateway to regular tobacco use.”

For Goldman, it’s well past time that his colleagues “look up the facts” and stop “dissing a smoke cessation tool with a lot of potential.” It can serve the interests of public health. Jesse Kline for the National Post has likewise told Canadians, “Don’t believe the fear campaign — e-cigarettes can save millions of lives.”

In Cape Fear, Sam Bowden’s teenage daughter – played by Juliette Lewis – was tormented and assaulted by De Niro’s Max Cady, but she manages to survive. She tells the audience that her holiday in North Carolina had been so peaceful beforehand, “when the only thing to fear on those enchanted summer nights was that the magic would end and real life would come crashing in.”

With vaping, we know this won’t occur until all multitudinous studies have been completed. And regulators and health authorities reach consensus.

Until that point, the regulation and use of e-cigarettes in Canada, the United States, and Scotland will continue to spark serious challenges and health concerns.

Without reliable data and hard evidence, and in a state of affairs where no one has a claim to the unassailable truth, regulations that curtail access and promotion to young people appears to be the surest policy in overcoming Vape Fear.

The History of Medical Books in CBMH-BCHM

Bookworms & Medical History

Historians know all about books. Publishers. Proposals. Fonts. And proper theoretical frameworks. You name it. Historians have got it cased. Sure, to avoid becoming archaic – extinct – dinosaurs, historians are shifting with the times and engaging in a wider ‘digital turn’. But books still matter.

(Yes, I have a flair for the obvious.)

In Volume 12.2 of Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la médecine , the University of Toronto’s Jennifer Connor offers up a series of articles on  A NEW HISTORY OF THE MEDICAL BOOK. She situates her edited volume in the larger ‘history of the book’ movement of the 1990s. It was a movement, she writes, that witnessed “the establishment of centres for book study at national libraries and universities,” “bibliographies and plans for national histories of the book,” and “new societies, conferences, journals, book series,” as well as “graduate-level courses and degree programs…” (204)

As she prepares CBMH-BCHM readers for the issue, Connor offers a thematic taxonomy of the fourteen essays. It’s a breakdown that includes: (1) the physical form of medical publications; (2) the range of genres for medical writing; (3) the collecting of print material in private and institutional libraries; (4) the links between medical publications and their social or intellectual milieu; (5) and the nature of the publishing enterprise itself.

First she meditates on the history of the book in medicine. She then turns to what the new history of the medical book may look like in the years ahead. Thereafter, she concludes with some general thoughts that still possess force:

“Publishers’ promotion aside, the transformative power of electronic media on the book cannot be denied. Certainly the economic advantages to publishers, researchers, health-care practitioners, and patients alike in having information widely available, continually updated, and easily accessed hold tremendous implications for the health sciences in future.” (211)

Indeed.

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One of the stand-out articles (for me) has to be Heather Burton’s ‘ “Still in Process”: Collaborative Authorship in a Twentieth- Century Biomedical Textbook,’ an account of Molecular Biology of the Cell. More particularly, it’s an account of the “unique and close collaboration between six outstanding scientists” who wrote one of the best-selling textbooks of all time. Even more particularly, it’s about Burton chronicling the writing of the book with one of her own. Essentially, Burton’s awesome article is about a book about a book. Seriously trippy.

Molecular Biology of the Cell, according to Burton was conceived by James Watson as far back as the late 1960s and early 1970s. He saw “that molecular biology was at the forefront of science and that the curriculum was on the verge of changing.” However, the field had no textbook to guide and define it. And he sought to move beyond another boring, traditional text. “His idea was for a bold, fresh approach, yet at the same time one that was comprehensive and cohesive.” (374)

My favourite moment in the article is the authors’ back-and-forth about the writing of their now seminal textbook. It wasn’t always an enjoyable, seamless process. It wasn’t always easy – as any historian or author knows all too well. Yet, the collaborators still managed to have some fun, including posing for a photograph in which they recreated the Beatles’ Abbey Road cover. See page 377 for the image that mirrors the one below.

abbey road

And so the article goes…

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Yet, Connor’s edited issue was not the only place in which CBMH-BCHM drilled deeper into the history of the book.

In 1993, Ian Carr explored the life of William Boyd,  one of the best known figures in the history of Canadian pathology. A professor of pathology in three Canadian universities, Boyd “is remembered chiefly because of the number and success of his textbooks.” (77) The article is called “William Boyd-The Commonplace and the Books.”

In what could have been a straightforward (and Whiggish) history of Boyd, Carr instead gets very interesting. In an effort to understand his historical actor more closely, Carr places a spotlight on Boyd’s ‘commonplace’ book.

According to Carr: “Commonplace books, in which people recorded what they had read, were written in increasing numbers in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; they were used during the Renaissance as places of reference, in formal arguments) but the keeping of a commonplace book gradually became the hallmark of a writer or literary individual. It was, before the Xerox or card index, an artificial memory. Robert Burns, Thomas Hardy, and W. H. Auden, among others, have left interesting commonplace books. William Boyd is therefore in good company. To my knowledge, no other major medical writer of this century has left such a book.” (78)

While some of the material in Boyd’s book may seem frivolous, Carr believed that (and so do I) “the choice of quotations gives a picture of the inside of William Boyd’s mind…” (79)

Kipling and Shakespeare, Milton and Wordsworth – for Carr, the inclusion of these greats offers historians of medicine a more comprehensive view of one Canada’s luminaries in pathology.

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And there’s more…

In David Shephard’s 2000 article on “The Casebook, the Daybook, and the Diary as Sources in Medical Historiography,” readers are exposed to the writings of John Mackieson, Jonathan Woolverton, and James Langstaff – three Canadian physicians.

While diaries and journals have long been used in order to describe personal experiences, explains Shephard, doctors also relate their medical experiences through casebooks and daybooks. And when placed alongside “account books” and “clinical-notes,” the “casebooks” and “daybook” constitute “a common literary genre among physicians in the nineteenth century.” (245) They were, as Shephard argues, “used to report the details of interesting clinical cases, to provide records for future reference, to serve as aides-memoires in the preparation of journal articles, books and lectures, and sometimes to fulfill requirements in a student’s training.” (246)

And so Shephard delves into Mackieson’s, Woolverton’s, and Langstaff’s casebooks/daybooks, thereby moving CBMH-BCHM readers beyond the standard textbook (Molecular Biology of the Cell) and the commonplace book (re Boyd)…

In Shephard’s estimation, these types of historical sources provide a snapshot of medical training and, more importantly, lend insight into rural vs. urban medical practice.

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Accept it. Historians of medicine truly are bookworms. Thanks for reading!

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This short article is part of broader series of posts. And I’m incredibly excited to be working with CBMH/BCHM and University of Toronto Press over the summer months. It will be my pleasure to help out with journal’s migration to the UofT’s publishing platform. As part of this transition, we are moving all of the back issues onto UofT’s server, and in some cases enhancing them, with abstracts and keywords. The journal is about to publish its 66th issue, so there are lots to consider!

As the journey commences this summer, I’ll be posting and tweeting about the process – all of the amazing stops and bumps in the road, as well excellent articles and contemporary health and medicine issues dating back to the mid-1980s. I’d guess holidays would come first, but I encourage you to share and participate in the voyage as much as you can!

@DrLucasRichert

 

Vaccine History in CBMH/BCHM

Vaccine & Immunization History in CBMH/BCHM

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The roadway to effective, accepted vaccines in history is neither smooth nor straight. Vaccines naturally induce potent social, political, and economic responses. They raise questions about scientific authority and the production of medical knowledge. Even more, vaccines have challenged the physician’s influence over patient-consumer choice in the medical marketplace, as anyone who watched Jenny McCarthy shape the discussion over autism and anti-vaccination can attest.

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In 2016, commentators and historians are addressing this subject with verve. Many texts – hastily rushed to print after widespread media coverage of Jenny McCarthy’s campaign against vaccines – are aimed at a general audience, whereas others target more specialized academic and historical audiences. Two fine entries in the latter group include Elena Conis’s Vaccine Nation: America’s Changing Relationship with Immunization (Chicago UP, 2014) and Stephen Mawdsley’s very recent Selling Science: Polio and the Promise of Gamma Globulin (Rutgers UP, 2016), both of which concentrate largely on the second half of the twentieth century.

*Conis was the plenary speaker at the recent meeting in Calgary*

* Mawdsley, of course, is CSHM-SCHM ‘s website manager and editor *

And with Karen L. Walloch’s important new book, The Antivaccine Heresy: Jacobson v. Massachusetts and the Troubled History of Compulsory Vaccination in the United States (Rochester UP, 2015), we are exposed to much earlier wrangling over vaccination – specifically, compulsory vaccination – in the United States. Set against the vivid, shifting backdrop of Progressive-era ferment and, more particularly, a modern paradigm of public health predicated on the rise of bacteriology, Walloch examines the landmark Jacobson v. Massachusetts decision of 1905, which upheld a state statute mandating vaccination.

For the authors listed above, resistance to immunization or other medical decisions is not borne out of singular ignorance, nor is it always a function of big government, anti-medical establishment paranoia.

(To be sure, there are very real consequences of ignoring the best scientific evidence on inoculating agent – and there are dangers in not redressing the consequences of ignoring the best scientific evidence and tackling counter-narratives, as in the case of Nicoli Nattrass’ The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back. I have noted this elsewhere).

However, by treating antivaccinationist views coolly, and in seeking to appreciate why well-educated and reasonable people objected to medical innovation, the authors are suggesting that we may develop more sophisticated responses to vaccine counter-narratives and counter-knowledges in the present.

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Vaccine history is old hat for CBMH/BCHM readers, considering such scholars as Katherine Arnup, Barbara Tunis, Maureen Lux, and W.B. Spaulding have all contributed to the historical discussion of inoculation and vaccines.

Indeed, the very first article of the very first issue focussed on Dr James Latham, a “pioneer inoculator.” According to Barbara Tunis, “little has been known of his life or subsequent career” and the “intention of this short biography” was to “examine the broader content of his career as an inoculator and his years in North America.” (1) In unpacking his life and medical practice, Tunis finds that Latham, who lived from 1734-1799, was “materialistic” in his approach to the craft and “following a trend already established in England and America…” (11) It’s an intriguing article!

Later, William Spaulding’s “The Ontario Vaccine Farm, 1885-1916” builds on the work of Tunis and charts Canada’s response to smallpox.  “Established in 1885 by Dr. Alexander Stewart, a local physician, the Ontario Vaccine Farm was the first institution to produce smallpox vaccine in Ontario,” writes Spaulding. (54) The Farm originally consisted of a converted barn where Stewart employed government-approved methods for obtaining and processing vaccine from inoculated calves – and the article is made even more interesting through its inclusion of illustrations.

In 1992, Katherine Arnup once more placed a spotlight on Ontario vaccination, with “Victims of Vaccination?: Opposition to Compulsory Immunization in Ontario, 1900-90.” And, just as Elena Conis and Karen Walloch have recently underlined the tense back-and-forth, push-and-pull among supporters and detractors of vaccination, Arnup does the same. On the one hand, she focuses on the social and political dimensions of a particular struggle over compulsory vaccination against smallpox in the city of Toronto during the first two decades of the 20th century. One the other hand, Arnup turned to contemporary debates, “to the current controversy over the use of the pertussis vaccine, examining the work of the Committee Against Compulsory Vaccination, the group battling against immunization legislation…” (159-160)

And her conclusion certainly presages many of the findings and sentiments found within recent work that give more credence to anti-vaxxers, vaccine hesitance, and vaccine resistors:

“One of the lessons that history can teach us is that in dismissing the opponents of immunization as ‘mere nonentities’ we underestimate the appeal that their message has. Although the vast majority of parents today opt for immunization for their children, increasing numbers of people are expressing concerns about its safety. While there are undoubtedly fanatics among the opponents of immunization, there are also many thousands of concerned parents, wondering what is best for their children.” (171)

In its balance and tenor, it’s strikingly similar to what’s emerging now!

Finally, with Lux’s “Perfect Subjects: Race, Tuberculosis,and the Qu’Appelle BCG Vaccine Trial,” the historiography shifts further forward chronologically and begins to include Indigenous peoples of Canada. The article also recasts Canadian vaccine history somewhat, as it uses themes of experimentation and colonialism to help tell a story about medial knowledge creation and Tuberculosis.

It’s a harrowing piece of scholarship (think Ian Mosby and Susan Reverby) that has the ability to make the reader uncomfortable, even angry. As Lux puts it, “The BCG trial at the Qu’Appelle reserves must be viewed in the historical context of Native-White relations. Native people were viewed as primitives and strangers in their own land and in need of fundamental change.” (291)

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Why do we question vaccines? And who are the thought leaders involved? Are they respectable, or are they hacks? And, more importantly, what can we glean from past debates about vaccines? Yes, the answers to these questions are being debated in brand new scholarship related to the United States and elsewhere, but (as noted in a previous post) it’s exciting that CBMH/BCMH readers were exposed to such historical questions from the journals’s beginnings.

(Please watch for a French version soon)

For more on what I’m doing with the CBMH/BCMH, please see the announcement here.

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FRENCH VERSION

Lhistoire de la vaccination et du vaccin dans le CBMH/BCHM

L’histoire nous montre que la route qui mène à des vaccins efficaces et acceptés est truffée d’embuche. Les vaccins entrainent systématiquement d’importants bouleversements sociaux, politiques et économiques. Ils soulèvent des questions relatives à l’autorité scientifique et à la production de savoir médical. Par ailleurs, les vaccins ont contesté l’influence du médecin pour tout ce qui a trait au choix des patients-consommateurs sur le marché médical, comme tous ceux qui ont pu voir Jenny McCarthy mener la discussion sur l’autisme et l’anti-vaccination peuvent en témoigner.

En 2016, les commentateurs et les historiens se penchent sur ce sujet avec brio. Beaucoup de textes (imprimés à la va-vite après une importante couverture médiatique de la campagne de Jenny McCarthy contre les vaccins) sont destinés à un public profane, tandis que d’autres ciblent des auditoires d’universitaires et d’historiens plus spécialisés. Citons comme contributions notables dans la seconde catégorie Vaccine Nation: America’s Changing Relationship with Immunization (Chicago UP, 2014) et Selling Science: Polio and the Promise of Gamma Globulin (Rutgers UP, 2016) par Elena Conis et très récemment par Stephen Mawdsley, qui se concentrent principalement sur la seconde moitié du XXe siècle.

* Conis était la conférencière en séance plénière lors de la récente réunion à Calgary *

* Mawdsley, bien sûr, est l’administrateur du site CSHM-SCHM *

Et avec l’important nouveau livre de Karen L. Walloch, The Antivaccine Heresy: Jacobson v. Massachusetts and the Troubled History of Compulsory Vaccination in the United States (Rochester UP, 2015), on apprend que les querelles concernant la vaccination aux Etats-Unis sont bien plus anciennes (en particulier, la vaccination obligatoire). Avec pour toile de fond cette ère Progressiste vive et mouvementée et, plus particulièrement, un paradigme moderne de santé publique fondée sur l’influence grandissante de la bactériologie, Walloch examine la décision historique Jacobson v. Massachusetts de 1905, qui a confirmé une loi de l’État rendant obligatoire la vaccination.

Pour les auteurs énumérés ci-dessus, la résistance à la vaccination ou à d’autres décisions médicales n’est pas le fruit d’une ignorance singulière. Elle n’est pas non plus la conséquence systématique d’une méfiance paranoïaque envers un gouvernement puissant ou envers le système médical.

Pour sûr, ignorer les meilleures preuves scientifiques concernant l’agent inoculant n’est pas sans conséquences et il est dangereux de ne pas pallier à cette ignorance des meilleures preuves scientifiques et de ne pas lutter contre les récits révisionnistes, comme dans le cas de The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back par Nicoli Nattrass. Et j’ai constaté ça ailleurs.

Cependant, en examinant les points de vue « anti-vaccinationistes » froidement, et en cherchant à comprendre pourquoi des personnes aussi bien éduquées et raisonnables ont pu s’opposer à l’innovation médicale, les auteurs suggèrent que l’on peut aujourd’hui développer des réponses plus sophistiquées aux récits révisionnistes et aux contre-vérités.

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Les lecteurs de CBMH / BCHM en sont bien conscients, étant donné que des chercheurs comme Katherine Arnup, Barbara Tunis, Maureen Lux et W.B. Spaulding ont tous contribué à la discussion historique de l’inoculation et les vaccins.

En effet, le tout premier article du tout premier numéro portait sur le Dr James Latham, un « pionnier de l’inoculation. » Selon Barbara Tunis, «  on connait très peu de sa vie ou de sa carrière ultérieure» et «le but de cette courte biographie » est « d’examiner le contenu plus large de sa carrière en tant « inoculateur » et ses années en Amérique du Nord. » (1) En examinant sa vie et sa pratique médicale, Tunis estime que Latham, qui a vécu de 1734 à 1799, était «matérialiste» dans son rapport à sa pratique et «suivait une tendance déjà établie en Angleterre et en Amérique … » (11 ) C’est un article fascinant !

Par la suite, « The Farm Vaccine Ontario, 1885-1916 » de William Spaulding s’appuie sur les travaux de Tunis et analyse la réponse du Canada à la variole. « Fondée en 1885 par le Dr Alexander Stewart, un médecin local, la Ferme à vaccin de l’Ontario (Ontario Vaccine Farm) a été la première institution à produire le vaccin contre la variole en Ontario», écrit Spaulding. (54) La Ferme se composait initialement d’une grange aménagée dans laquelle Stewart employait des méthodes approuvées par le gouvernement pour l’obtention et la fabrication de vaccins à partir de veaux inoculés. Les illustrations rendent l’article encore plus intéressant.

En 1992, Katherine Arnup mit une fois de plus en lumière la vaccination en Ontario, avec « Victims of Vaccination?: Opposition to Compulsory Immunization in Ontario, 1900-90. » Et, tout comme Elena Conis et Karen Walloch ont récemment souligné les tensions liées au va-et-vient parmi les partisans et les détracteurs de la vaccination, Arnup fait de même ici. D’une part, elle s’attarde sur les dimensions sociales et politiques d’une lutte particulière portant sur la vaccination obligatoire contre la variole dans la ville de Toronto au cours des deux premières décennies du 20e siècle. D’ autre part, Arnup s’intéresse aux débats contemporains : « la controverse actuelle concernant l’utilisation du vaccin contre la coqueluche, examinant les travaux du Comité contre la vaccination obligatoire (Committee Against Compulsory Vaccination), qui luttait contre la législation de vaccination …» (159-160)

Et sa conclusion précède certainement beaucoup d’idées et d’impressions que l’on peut trouver dans certains travaux récents qui donnent plus de crédibilité aux anti-vaccinationistes, l’hésitation des vaccins et des résistances de vaccins :

« L’une des leçons que l’on peut tirer de l’histoire, c’est qu’en rejetant les adversaires de la vaccination comme de « simples nullités », nous sous-estimons la portée de leur message. Bien qu’aujourd’hui la grande majorité des parents opte pour la vaccination de leurs enfants, beaucoup de personnes émettent des réserves quant à sa sécurité. C’est sûr qu’il existe des fanatiques parmi les opposants à la vaccination, mais il y a aussi des milliers de parents inquiets qui se demandent ce qui est le mieux pour leurs enfants. » (171)

Dans son équilibre et sa teneur, c’est étonnamment similaire à ce qui est en train d’émerger !

Enfin, avec « Perfect Sujets: Race, Tuberculosis and the Qu’Appelle Vaccin BCG Trial, » écrit par Lux, l’historiographie se penche sur des sujets plus contemporains et commence à inclure les peuples autochtones du Canada. D’une certaine manière, l’article refonde également l’histoire du vaccin au Canada, étant donné qu’il a recours aux thèmes de l’expérimentation et du colonialisme pour raconter une histoire de la création des connaissances médicales et de la tuberculose. C’est un article poignant (cf. Ian Mosby et Susan Reverby), qui a la faculté de mettre le lecteur mal à l’aise, voire en colère. Comme Lux le dit, « Le procès BCG dans les réserves Qu’Appelle doit être étudié dans le contexte historique des relations autochtones-Blanc. Les autochtones étaient considérés comme des êtres primitifs et des étrangers au sein de leur propre pays et comme nécessitant un changement fondamental. » (291)

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Pourquoi nous interrogeons-nous sur les vaccins ? Et qui sont les leaders d’opinion concernés ? Sont-ils respectables ou sont-ils des imposteurs ? Et, de manière plus importante, que pouvons-nous tirer des débats d’antan sur les vaccins ? Oui, les réponses à ces questions sont débattues dans de nouvelles études portant sur les Etats-Unis et ailleurs, mais (comme indiqué dans un précédent post), c’est stimulant de penser que les lecteurs de CBMH/BCMH ont été exposés à de telles questions historiques depuis les débuts de la revue.

 

Medical History on the Move

I have a new blog post on the University of Toronto’s site.

 

I’m incredibly excited to be working with CBMH/BCHM and University of Toronto Press over the summer months. It will be my pleasure to help out with journal’s migration to the UofT’s publishing platform. As part of this transition, we are moving all of the back issues onto UofT’s server, and in some cases enhancing them, with abstracts and keywords. The journal is about to publish its 66th issue, so there are lots to consider!

As the journey commences this summer, I’ll be posting and tweeting about the process – all of the amazing stops and bumps in the road, as well excellent articles and contemporary health and medicine issues dating back to the mid-1980s. I’d guess holidays would come first, but I encourage you to share and participate in the voyage as much as you can!

For updates see, @DrLucasRichert and LucasRichert.com

Lucas Richert, PhD

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