11:00 – Aboriginal ruling
Chris Lowry, Assistant Professor, Social and Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics, University of Waterloo
A Hamilton hospital that lost a legal battle to force an 11-year-old aboriginal girl to resume cancer treatment says she has “no chance of survival” without the care. A judge in Brantford rejected the bid by McMaster Children’s Hospital to have the girl apprehended and placed back into chemotherapy. The judge said the girl’s family has a constitutional right to opt for traditional medicine. Hospital president Doctor Peter Fitzgerald says the health centre has no immediate plans for an appeal, but remains hopeful the girl will return for treatment. The girl, whose name is hidden by a publication ban, was receiving chemo before her mother removed her in mid-September to take her to Florida for alternative therapy. Some First Nations leaders are applauding the decision. Chief Ava Hill of the Six Nations Reserve denies the family is risking the child’s life, saying her mother “loves her to the world and back.”
11:30 – November is Woman Abuse Awareness Month
Diana Boal, Executive Director, Victim Services of Waterloo Region
Two-thirds of female sexual-assault victims who responded to a detailed survey said they lacked confidence in the criminal justice system – pointing to a need for better support services, says a new federal study. Many of these women cited their shaky faith in the justice system as a reason for not reporting a sexual attack to police. Allegations of sexual assault against former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi and accusations of harassment involving two Liberal MPs have sparked widespread discussion about how society handles issues of sexual violence directed at women. We’re also hearing of numerous allegations against Bill Cosby…women have come forward, claiming sexual assault and rape. This leads to a broader conversation about violence against women – as November is Woman Abuse Awareness Month and November 25th is “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Locally, Victim Services of Waterloo Region has a number of resources available.