The anti-vaccination movement that gripped Victorian England

BBC News

Greig Watson

The distrust of doctors and government that feeds the anti-vaccination movement might be seen as a modern phenomenon, but the roots of today’s activism were put down well over a century ago.

In the late 19th Century, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in opposition to compulsory smallpox vaccinations. There were arrests, fines and people were even sent to jail.

Banners were brandished demanding “Repeal the Vaccination Acts, the curse of our nation” and vowing “Better a felon’s cell than a poisoned babe”. Copies of hated laws were burned in the streets and the effigy was lynched of the humble country doctor who was seen as to blame for the smallpox prevention programme. . . [Full text]

Controversial conscience rights bill in limbo as fall sitting wraps up

Standing committee recommended Bill 207 not proceed to second reading

CBC News

Michelle Bellefontaine

The fate of a controversial private members’ bill on conscience rights for medical providers is in limbo as the fall sitting of the Alberta legislature wraps up this week.

On Monday, MLAs were to debate whether they would accept a report from the standing committee on private bills and private members’ bills, which recommended Bill 207 not proceed to second reading. . . the house was suddenly adjourned after a man died by suicide on the steps of the legislature building.  . . [Full text]

Majority of people support legalising assisted suicide in Ireland

Campaigners have called for changes to the Irish law on assisted dying.

thejounal.ie

Dominic McGrath

A MAJORITY OF Irish people believe that assisted suicide should be legalised in Ireland.

The latest Amárach/Claire Byrne Live poll for TheJournal.ie found that 55% of people think that assisted suicide should be legal in Ireland. 

The poll found that 22% opposed the legalisation of assisted suicide, while 23% said they didn’t know. . .[Full text]

The SNC-Lavalin affair raises the issue of politicians’ conflict between their conscience and party politics.

There are good reasons to favour conscience.

Policy Options

Brian Bird

The SNC-Lavalin affair, which continues to reverberate, raises many issues in a democracy dominated by political parties — and all these issues take on greater relevance with a federal election approaching. One of them is the conflict that can arise between the conscience of a politician and the strictures of party politics, in a variety of contexts, and how that conflict should be resolved. When our representatives are voting on legislation, there are good reasons to favour conscience. . . [Full Text]