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Health & Medical Links

Consumer Health Information | Traditional Medicine | Organ Donation | Kidney Disease | Hospitals | Nutritional Information | Alternative Medicine | Toxic Substances | Is Trust Justified? | About | Suggesting Links

DISCLAIMER The links on this site is for informational purposes only. Do not use the information contained on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. The information on this web site is not intended to take the place of medical advice, treatment, evaluation or diagnosis by a qualified professional who is fully informed about the potential risks and adverse effects of such treatments.

A Starting Point

Health & medical

The links on this page are intended as a resource and starting point for self-help research. Be sure to check the information you find there with your health professional.

Discuss Findings With Your Health Team

Your body is your own and patients that take control of their own health often do better than those that depend on others for all the answers.

However, I suggest that you use the information you find there as a discussion point with your health team. They can explain the pros and cons of any particular course of treatment. An informed patient will listen to all the facts before making their mind up about the validity of any medical procedure.

External Links Open in a New Window

All links external to this site open in a new tab (or new window). Simply close the external site's tab or window to return to this page. I am not responsible for the content of websites that I provide links to. Read the disclaimer.

Consumer Health Information

Government Sponsored

  • HealthLinkBC gives online access to non-emergency health information and services from the Government of British Columbia.
  • Health Finder — sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  • Health Information — sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).


Sleep affects all aspects of your life, including mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Learn to harness its positive impacts. —

The resources in this section include several sites that have information about sleep, the main reason I link to them. However, they also provide reviews of mattresses and associated products which generate some sort of referral income if you follow the links from their reviews.

Drug Information

We are outraged that experts in the fields of cardiovascular medicine, diabetes and osteoporosis have come up with disease definitions that label at least 75% of our fellow citizens “sick” and in need of preventive medication. —ShowMoreSpine
Taking 6 to 9 medications is associated with a 59% chance of death in older adults. —Lown Institute
  • Worst Pills, Best Pills your expert, independent second opinion for prescription drug information (subscription-based — highly recommended).
  • Pharmawatch Canada blog — Canadian drug safety and drug policy.
  • Know Your Drugs — looks at the problem of adverse drug reactions to prescribed medications.
  • RxList — the Internet Drug Index for prescription drugs, medications and pill identifier.
  • DailyMed provides high quality recent information about marketed drugs including FDA labels and strengthened warnings undergoing FDA review. Not all drugs are listed.

And Misinformation


Vaccination is a hot topic, particularly for parents and around the effectiveness of the flu vaccine (now required of medical staff). The fact that the companies producing these vaccines are protected from liability by the government is disconcerting.

Unfortunately, some very well organized folks began to promote the idea that vaccines can damage a child's developing brain and immune system, leading to neurodevelopmental disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, asthma, anaphylactic food allergies, diabetes and autoimmune disorders. Much of the evidence was anecdotal but emotionally-charged.

The 2019 outbreak of measles has again brought out the controversy of vaccinations, particularly where a minority's personal choice NOT to vaccinate may be endangering the majority of the population.

The World Health Organization has ranked vaccine hesitancy — the growing resistance to widely available lifesaving vaccines — as one of the top 10 health threats in the world for 2019. — The New York Times

The story of baby Ian Gromowski is emotionally compelling, but what if the parents are wrong and millions of other babies die because they are not vaccinated?

Ian Gromowski's story is so powerful, so pervasive, and so difficult to refute because it is just that: a story. And personal accounts, particularly as utilized by the anti-vaccine movement, are seemingly immune to facts. — Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics

Mozilla put together a reading list to understanding misinformation online using the anti-vaccine movement as an example (there are 480 anti-vaccine websites coded by just 4 people). You'd do yourself a favour by checking out that resource to ensure you fully understand the issues involved.

I think Mozilla is more trustworthy than many online sources, particularly social media.

Psychiatric Drugs

Not all misinformation is from outside the drug industry.

The use of psychiatric drugs is a growing problem in countries across the world. The most common treatments for clinical depression are drug-related rather than “talk therapy” and these medications cause long-term problems. There is growing evidence that these drugs are related to violence.

The U.S. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual has become the standard reference for treatment, but many question its assumption that psychiatric problems are a result of a shortage of serotonin in the brain.

Telling people, as I was told by my doctor, that depression is caused by a problem in your brain is, firstly, untrue and it is also really problematic because it cuts people off from finding the real causes of their depression and anxiety. We've been telling ourselves this chemical story for 35 years and every year depression and anxiety gets worse. — Johann Hari

Information Portals

Note: a number of traditional portals are now sponsored by corporations or advertisers that may influence the information provided based upon their products and services. For example, see Doctor Who? The corporations behind WebMD's friendly, free advice.

  • Medscape — medical news and full-text journal articles.
  • HealthCentral is an online health company that provides information and support for people with life-changing conditions.

General Information & Guides

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Traditional Medical Resources

A medical journal is expected to promote an open-minded discussion of treatments, even if findings — or criticisms — threaten conventional beliefs. In psychiatry journals, the abstracts are nearly always written in a manner that ensures that the conventional wisdom about psychiatric drugs isn't unduly threatened. —Mad In America

Government Sponsored

General Information & Guides

Medical News

Medical Journals

  • JAMAJournal of the American Medical Association.
  • CMAJCanadian Medical Association Journal.

The Human Body

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Organ Donation & Transplantation

Lif Life. Pass it On. Register today at

In 1997 the BC Organ Donor Registry replaced all previous forms of consent. A decal on your driver's licence is not valid.

Register or verify your decision online — it only takes 2 minutes yet could make a tremendous difference to someone waiting for a transplant. Paper forms are also available at ICBC and Service BC offices.

Canadian Transplant Resources

My Organ Donation & Transplantation page tells the story of my kidney transplant and contains a deeper look into the critical need to greatly increase donor registration to meet a growing need. 1 in 10 Canadians has chronic kidney disease and a renal transplant is the best option for quality of life.

General Information & Guides

  • Donating a Kidney is an overview from HealthLink BC.
  • TransWeb is one of the oldest transplantation sites and includes excellent information and links.

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Renal (Kidney) Disease

General Information & Guides

Renal Facilities

Medical Journals

Related Diseases

  • has a series of parathyroid articles. Parathyroid issues can result from chronic renal failure.
  • Children with Diabetes is an excellent resource for diet, new technologies, and summer camps.

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Nutritional Information

Journals & News

General Information & Guides

Sugar Alternatives

Manufacturers love artificial sweeteners. They can be produced much less expensively than the cost of real sugar and that cost is relatively stable. However, there are genuine concerns about these chemical alternatives.

[O]ver 40% of adult Americans consume no-cal sweeteners on a daily basis, and studies that measure the sweeteners in blood and urine show that many people who report not using artificial sweeteners are unknowingly consuming them. — Meghan Azad

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Alternative Medicine

Herbs and Vitamins


With the legalization of marijuana becoming more prevalent, it is important to ensure that the risks as well as potential benefits are understood.

Study of 10,000 reports into cannabis finds only enough evidence to support therapeutic use for chemotherapy patients, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis. There is not enough research to reach conclusive judgments on whether marijuana can effectively treat most of the symptoms and diseases it is advertised as helping, according to a wide-ranging US government study. —The Guardian

The ability to smoke marijuana on the street (anywhere you can smoke cigarettes) is of great concern to me because my wife has experience hospitalization just from being around those that smoke it (a chemical imbalance treated with 4 IVs in her at once).

If you are in possession of an open can of beer downtown Victoria, you can be arrested. Not so with this potent drug that could have such a life-threatening reaction in someone nearby.

General Information & Guides

Blood Issues

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Toxic Substances

Hazardous Chemicals

  • National Toxicology Program (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
  • TOXNET online databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and toxic releases.
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry tracks health effects of hazardous substances. This agency offers a searchable database of profiles of about 200 environmental contaminants, giving health effects and other information for the lay person. Also featured is a clickable map leading to locations where hazardous substances exist. The entire site is searchable using keywords and Boolean operators.
  • NIH Toxicology Literature Online (TOXLINE).



  • Burning Issues provides public education about the health hazards of burning wood. There is a FAQ and links to studies on the effects of smoke and particulates, including legal cases.
  • Carbon Monoxide Headquarters is an “expert” site on the issue of carbon monoxide, which causes more deaths than any other poison in our environment.

Electromagnetic Energy

Chemical & Environmental Sensitivities

Occupational Safety

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Is Trust Justified?

Health Canada Has Failed Us

Pharmaceutical companies get away with fraud including promoting off-label prescribing.

[I]n many cases the drugs are being prescribed “off-label” without any strong evidence that they are effective. —PharmaWatch Canada

New diseases are invented that greatly increase profits while seldom providing any realistic improvement to patient quality of life.

It is an ideology that asserts any aberrant value in your specimens is a disease that ought to be treated. If your health check is within standard values, then you are in good health. —PharmaWatch Canada

When caught, these corporations face fines that are more a cost of doing business than the crippling fines these same companies insist that competing non-pharmaceutical companies face when promoting an “off-label” benefit.

Trust Eroded

Doctors learn about new drugs from drug reps who have little incentive to tell about the downside. It's like going to a Ford dealership and asking if you should buy a Toyota.

Unfortunately, FDA and Health Canada priorities focus less on protecting consumers than on fast-tracking the approval of new drugs and medical devices.

The lack of effective oversight is harmful to patients.

Adverse drug reactions — also known as side effects, adverse effects or iatrogenesis — are a leading cause of death in Canada and the United States. — PharmaWatch Canada

Doctors are overworked and few patients are even aware that a mechanism to report adverse reactions exists.

Health Canada's Passive Role

Prescription Pharmaceuticals in Canada, March 2015 concluded:

Although the committee was discouraged by frequent testimony regarding Health Canada's passive role in drug regulation, its lack of transparency in relaying safety information to the public, its inability to conduct adequate inspections at all phases of a drug's life-cycle and in some cases, the department's failure to provide this committee with reliable testimony, it hopes that the department shares its belief that Canada's drug regulatory regime should be second to none.

Statins and Cholesterol

Anti-cholesterol drugs are a $37 billion dollar industry. The treatment levels for “high” cholesterol were lowered, increasing profitability but not outcome.

Benefits and Risks

Do they help?

The drugs are promoted as cutting the risk in half, but that is misleading.

The risk of heart disease drops from 2% to 1% when taking statins. That means 100 people have to take statins for 1 person to benefit.

What about the risks?

The negative side effects of statins are less publicized than benefits, but are well documented.

The NNT Findings

The NNT (Number-Needed-to-Treat) for statins demonstrated poor benefits, particularly for those without prior heart disease, and significant risks:

Benefits for those with NO history of heart disease:

  • No lives were saved
  • 1 in 104 heart attacks were prevented
  • 1 in 154 strokes were prevented

Benefits for those with KNOWN heart disease:

  • 1 in 83 lives were saved
  • 1 in 39 non-fatal heart attacks were prevented
  • 1 in 125 strokes were prevented

Harms were the same for both groups:

  • 1 in 50 develop diabetes
  • 1 in 10 suffer muscle damage

Crestor Benefit Overstated

One example of the lack of oversight is rosuvastatin (Crestor):

More is spent in the US on rosuvastatin than any other statin. Yet the evidence of its health benefits has always been weak and there is growing evidence of harmful side effects.
Given the evidence of more serious risks and less clinical benefit than other statins how has the drug fared so well for so long?
A prescient answer can be found in an October 2003 Lancet editorial, ‘The statin wars: why AstraZeneca must retreat.’
It stated that AstraZeneca's chief executive, Tom McKillop, has pledged to do whatever it takes to persuade doctors to prescribe rosuvastatin, including launching an estimated $1 billion first-year promotional campaign. — Sidney Wolfe, BMJ

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About These Links

I am not responsible for the content of websites that I provide links to. Read the disclaimer. See Links To Other Sites for my recommendations and limitations.

External Links Open in a New Window

All links external to this site open in a new tab (or new window). Simply close the external site's tab or window to return to this page.

Have a Link Suggestion?

I seldom respond to link requests, so please do NOT send reminders.

Before contacting me with your suggestion, please read these links policies.

Those policies tell you more about the sort of links I'm looking for as well my the intended audience.

This page links to medical content that is suitable for Canadian lay persons, typically those seeking information about health issues they or a family member are facing.

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Updated: November 14, 2019