A Question for 2019 [DRAFT]

The following suggests that elements of the federal and Ontario governments are criminally negligent. They are hiding mistakes on problems that had been known to medicine for centuries behind a legitimate but separate debate about whether the modern environment is making people sick.

Federal and provincial officials know or ought to know that their public statements and actions have contributed to preventable harm, including unnecessary deaths of persons for whom they and others have a duty of care.


  1. Reptiles have sensitivities, as do insects, birds, fish and mammals.

  2. Humans.

    1. People with sensitivities were known to medicine forever.
    2. There are a wide range of reasons for sensitivities, not a specific disease.
    3. People are sensitive to natural as well as synthetic substances.
    4. People have a wide range of consequent reactions.
    5. People have a wide range of consequent social experiences concerning acceptance, accommodation.
  3. Patients were helped in dealing with sensitivities, or not, in an age when medicine was more variable. In many families, sensitivities were acknowledged and dealt with.

    1. The method of diagnosis was a patient interview, which included an environmental history.
    2. Patients were advised, protected in many cases.
    3. Literature dates back centuries, lots of history, long before modern chemicals.
  4. Behavioural sequelae of sensitivities have been known to medicine for centuries.

  5. Public, educational and health institutions have long accommodated persons with sensitivities.

  6. While sensitivities were widely known about, there were attitude problems.

    1. Blame victim response common for many disabilities.
      1. Disabilities involve mental disturbance, can be overcome with Pollyanna attitude.
  7. IgE identified, 1967.

    1. Unfortunately, some interpreted this to mean that consumers could now be divided into real and imagined allergies, the public meaning of the words “explained and unexplained”. Some used this as reason to dismiss people whose sensitivities were not IgE mediated.
    2. It brought a degree of salvation for many, whose reactions were demonstrably IgE-mediated.
  8. There was still widespread academic medical knowledge, for instance in PEDIATRICS, that:

    1. People with sensitivities comprise an aggregate, not a single disease entity.
    2. Concern should not be abated just because the etiologies are poorly understood.
    3. Preventable harm may be caused to unidentified people or to people already diagnosed.
    4. It is important to identify patients who are sensitive before doing things that may injure patients with sensitivities.
    5. It is important not to ignore sensitivity when it’s indicated by other health problems.
  9. In the 1970s, a group of physicians calling themselves “clinical ecologists” started imposing their ideas on the conversation, in part through patients who felt ignored by “mainstream” medicine.

    1. Some of the clinical ecologists’ ideas and practices were irresponsible and dangerous.
    2. They alienated many in medicine and government.
    3. Patients were caught in the crossfire.
    4. Debate about “clinical ecology” shaped public discussion about sensitivities which thereby morphed to become about "people who are sick because of the modern environment", a practice commonly called "stereotyping".
    5. The stereotyping enables abuse by allowing people to pretend that sensitivities are new, that there is not a long scientific, clinical and consumer experience, that there are not attached human and civil rights.
    6. Controversy about the stereotype is misused to brand the entire topic as being unresolved.
  10. Meanwhile, more informed parties in organized medicine and academia looked beyond the stereotyping. There was a continued understanding of how the debate about environmental medicine was unrelated to the duty to protect persons with sensitivities from being caused preventable harm by acts of commission against persons to whom there is a duty of care.

  11. Many organizations and people who are abusing or helping to hide abuse have been unable to think this through clearly. Debate about clinical ecology (now called “environmental medicine”) has become a distraction from which we have not recovered. Could this be a matter of convenience?

    1. British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, UQAM, UofT, Women's College Hospital, Health Canada, Justice Canada, the CHRC all trot out this debate—about a sub-group defined by the abitrarily non-inclusive ideas of environmental medicine, about the stereotype—when asked about protection issues involving long-known overall populations of people affected.
    2. Protection issues related to the overall group are obfuscated.
    3. Sometimes it is hard to believe that the obfuscation is not deliberate.
    4. Government health statisticians hide mortality and abuse statistics for persons with sensitivities within other categories, such as “adverse drug reaction”, “suicide” or “learning (or behavioural) disability”.
  12. Environmentalists, and environment-oriented reporters, politicians, people who care about the planet, re-purpose the group to serve their fight against modern chemicals, invisibilizing the majority of people affected by sensitivities as they do so, and misportraying the problems as new.

  13. Journalists similarly invisibilize people with sensitivities when reporting on adverse drug reactions, learning disabilities or mental health.

  14. For a time, official reports, official spokespersons tried to help the public, health professionals and journalists to understand discrepancies between 1) long known, officially re-identified protection, duty of care issues concerning people at risk, and 2) debate about the claims of environmental medicine. Few Canadians are capable of making this distinction today.

  15. Health and Welfare Canada made efforts to address attitudes and promote protections between 1988 and 1993. These were invisibilized after the 1993 federal election.

  16. In 1993, the Ontario NDP were obscuring protection and duty of care issues behind debate about environmental medicine, a practice Thomson identified several times to be a problem—in his 1985 Report, as DM of Labour, as Ontario DAG, while doing the SARC report and later at the federal level.

  17. People in organizations, departments, political parties who have made mistakes become indignant when told of them. It’s as if identifying a mistake is a form of assault, identifying consequences is a threat. Otherwise decent human beings are unable to appreciate the consequences of their own actions, unable to understand how they are betraying their own personal and professional ethics.
  18. The focus of public discussion continues to be on the stereotype, a small subset of people, essentially patients of doctors of environmental medicine who are ‘sick because of the modern environment’. While journalists turn a blind eye, responsible parties continue to cause preventable harm, by acts of commission, to a much larger group of people, even when having a legal duty of care.

  19. People in agencies of remedy likewise eclipse protection issues for the overall group behind a legitimate but separate debate about ‘environmental medicine’.

  20. Knowingly ignoring, invisibilizing, the people to whom one is causing preventable harm does not diminish responsibility or, where it exists, duty of care. Pretending that a subgroup represents the whole would be a form of criminal deceit, if it serves to hide criminal negligence.

A question for federal MPs, for Ontario MPPs, for Canadians: Is Health Canada criminally negligent? Justice Canada?  The Ontario Ministry of Health? UofT? UQAM? All have been complicit in obscuring abuse of the larger, long-existing, group behind the stereotype, in some cases where there is a duty of care.

It's something to ask them in 2019.

Chris Brown