Tag Archives: globe and mail

Reporters spend 10 weeks immersed in end-of-life care

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism, and he has blogged for Covering Health ever since.

Toronto Globe and Mail reporter Lisa Priest and photographer Moe Doiron spent two-and-a-half months embedded in a 20-bed critical care unit at a Toronto

ventilator

Photo by quinn.anya via Flickr

hospital, following four patients and their families and chronicling life in an environment where, Priest writes, “death is a constant, almost routine event, claiming one in five patients who enter.”

Their assignment was to find out “How does one prepare for the end of life?” and explore the medical, ethical and economic challenges of that stage of life.

The result is a sprawling, intensive report on the state of end-of-life care in Canada, heavy on anecdotes. Priest’s centerpiece is subtitled “Spending 10 weeks with patients facing death“) but remains cognizant of big picture issues like cost and quality of life.

Picard honored for public policy journalism

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism, and he has blogged for Covering Health ever since.

André Picard, AHCJ member and longtime Globe and Mail health reporter, has earned this year’s Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism. The award is presented by the Public Policy Forum, an independent Canadian nonprofit. It comes on the heels of the 2010 National Newspaper Award that named Picard Canada’s best columnist.

Andre Picard

Andre Picard

If Picard isn’t already a fixture in your RSS reader, you can add http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/andre-picard/?service=rss or bookmark his Globe and Mail landing page.

For more from one of Canada’s finest, check out Angilee Shah’s Picard interview over at Reporting on Health. My favorite response came when Shah asked Picard, who has won his share of praise from advocacy groups, about the line between journalism and advocacy.

I don’t see myself as an advocate. I think the reason I’ve gotten those awards is because I’m one of a few people who write about those issues in a broad way. I’m one of the few people who write about cancer not just as a multiplication of cells, but what happens to people when they have cancer and run out of money. I write a lot about the practical stuff — so I think that’s what attracts the attention of advocacy groups. I don’t see myself as an advocate for any particular illness or cause. But I see myself as an advocate for good health policy, and those necessarily overlap.

Some of these groups are shocked that I’ll write a lot of columns about cancer and then I’ll write one very critical of cancer groups. They’ll say, “I thought you were on my side.” And I say, no, I’m on the side of good public health. When consumer groups fail, that needs to be exposed as just much as when governments fail. Groups don’t always understand that – but that’s the life of a journalist.