Both boys were born when we lived on Pape Ave. It’s a very busy street north of Gerrard, but south of Gerrard it’s quiet, leafy and residential.  If you live in Toronto you know the neighbourhood as Leslieville.  (When I was living there, it hadn’t been branded yet – it was really just a stretch of streetcar stops along Queen, on the way to the

Read more


We’ve come a long way in recent years – the ‘patient voice’ has taken front stage as a source of guidance and inspiration for health care policy-makers, process engineers and designers.  Incorporating the needs of the patient is also at the center of ‘patient-centered care’ – an approach to care that seeks to account for the patient’s individual biography, culture and capacity. These intentions have

Read more

Photo: Toronto Brigantine

When I was a teenager, I sailed on a tall ship every summer. Toronto Brigantine is a sail-training organization for youth and operates two vessels: T.S. Playfair and S.T.V. Pathfinder.  During the summer, the ships sail the Great Lakes with its seamen and crew, often sailing continuously through the night and arriving at port only to refuel and for brief shore leave.  During the winter

Read more


Marjorie Richards was one of Owen’s caregivers. She worked with our family for several years off and on and was probably the most experienced of the group. What I remember most was that she was unflappable – nothing fazed her, she was always on time, she was always energetic and ready to go. She also wasn’t intrusive or irritating; she seemed to have figured out

Read more

donnas family

I interviewed Donna Thomson a few months ago when she was in town for her book launch. I had so much footage by the end it was hard to decide what to put in the videos! I decided in the end that almost all of it needed to be published. I’m including one of the videos here, and you can see all three of Donna’s

Read more


I spoke last night at DesignMeets: an event for Toronto’s design community, hosted by my friends at Pivot. I was allowed 5 slides and 5 minutes! “I was what I call an ‘extreme’ caregiver for over 12 years, caring for my son who had multiple severe disabilities. Owen died about 4 years ago – since then, I’ve been writing and speaking about our experiences.


I just came back from the OACCAC‘s* annual conference – I was part of this illustrious panel: Dr. Tim Rutledge (CEO of North York General) Dr. Jonathan Kerr (Family physician and President of the Ontario Association of Family Physicians) Nadine Henningsen (President of the Canadian Home Care Association) Jennifer Johannesen (Patient and Caregiver Advocate) Moderator Jeffrey Simpson, National Affairs editor for the Globe & Mail

Read more


I met Single Dad (SD) a couple of weeks ago.  He’s the blogger behind the semi-eponymous Single Dad/Disabled Daughter. He was in town to visit a friend and agreed to be interviewed for my Conversation Library series.   SD has two adult children with severe disabilities – his daughter lives at home with him and his son, previously cared for by his ex-wife, now lives in a

Read more


“[Foucault’s] concept of technologies of self reveals that individuals participate in the policing process by monitoring their own behaviour… The power operating in technologies of self is not based in force but “in the exercise of self upon self by which one tries to work out, to transform one’s self and to attain a certain mode of being.”” Coors, E. Marilyn. “A Foucauldian Foray into

Read more


I’ve reprinted below an excerpt from a journal article I’m referencing in my upcoming presentation at the Canadian Bioethics Society conference, in Vancouver. It’s pretty much my whole argument (that informed consent is a faulty notion), summed up simply in 2 paragraphs. “Supposing that informed choice is possible, Foucault’s understanding of people also affects what information is needed in order to give informed choice. That

Read more

Load More