Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for Family Caregivers
May 11, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
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Dr Deborah Peel is a practicing physician and founder of the US organization, Patient Privacy Rights. Ms Micheal Vonn is a lawyer and the Policy Director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. Both are deeply involved in pressing for better protection of healthcare privacy in the increasingly electronic world of healthcare. They highlight the services that their organizations provide and highlight those most likely to be helpful to family caregivers, in all types of families, who provide care for a family member. They explain the types of risks that loss of healthcare privacy may create for family caregivers and the family members they care for, and they way these risks can undermine relationships within the family. They discuss the effectiveness of privacy laws in the protection of privacy for family caregivers and family members. They say what changes they would like to see for improving healthcare privacy for family caregivers and the family members they care for.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.