"In native culture you look at the whole person, you don’t compartmentalize their mental health and physical health."
The medical community and many others were rocked after the ruling that an 11-year old girl from Six Nations named "J.J." was not in "need of protection" from her parents who had opted out of continuing very efficacious chemotherapy for her cancer treatment. This ruling sets an unfortunate precedent by encouraging a two-tier system of medical care for aboriginal children, who already have poor access to the social determinants of health.
The fact that the plight of Aboriginal Canadians still has to be singled out for special attention in the early 21st century conclusively demonstrates the urgent need for outside-the-box thinking and new institutional structures to support good governance.
Many worry that the Harper government will take this moment to fundamentally change the nature of health care delivery in Canada, giving more authority to the provinces but finding ways to download the fiscal responsibility at the same time.