Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas
University of Ottawa · Common Law Section

SJD

About

23
Publications
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120
Citations

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Medical innovations offer tremendous hope. Yet similar innovations in governance (law, policy, ethics) are likely necessary if society is to realize medical innovations’ fruits and avoid their pitfalls. As innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI) advance at a rapid pace, scholars across multiple disciplines are articulating concerns...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the serious vulnerabilities plaguing Canada's long-term care system. We argue for significant new federal investments tied to clear, enforceable quality standards (particularly around staffing); new investments in home care so that more people can "age in place"; and additional support for informal care provide...
Article
Ontario families are required to provide up-to-date vaccination records as children begin schooling. Exemptions are allowed on both medical and nonmedical (religious or philosophical) grounds. In a recent report, Toronto Public Health (2019) called for an end to nonmedical exemptions - a proposal some allege infringes the Canadian Charter of Rights...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges governments face in balancing civil liberties against the exigencies of public health amid the chaos of a public health emergency. Current and emerging pandemic response strategies may engage diverse rights grounded in civil liberties, including mobility rights, freedom of assembly, freedom of re...
Chapter
This chapter examines both the power and limitations of litigation as a means of facilitating accountability for the advancement of public health. While almost half of the world’s constitutions now contain a justiciable right to health, the impact of litigation has been mixed. Judicial accountability has, in some cases, advanced state obligations t...
Article
Canada's single-payer healthcare system is at a critical crossroads. A legal challenge underway in British Columbia alleges that legislative restrictions on privately financed care infringe the right to "life, liberty and security" guaranteed under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The greatest challenge for the court will b...
Article
Full-text available
In September 2016, a case went to trial in British Columbia that seeks to test the constitutionality of provincial laws that (1) ban private health insurance for medically necessary hospital and physician services; (2) ban extra-billing (physicians cannot charge patients more than the public tariff); and (3) require physicians to work solely for th...
Book
Full-text available
In 2004, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada. Fully in force by 2007, the act was intended to safeguard the health and safety of Canadians. However, a 2010 Supreme Court of Canada decision ruled that key parts of the act were invalid. Regulating Creation is a collection of essays built around the 2010 ruling....
Article
Full-text available
There are complex legal and ethical tradeoffs involved in using intensified regulation to bring smoking prevalence to near-zero levels. The authors explore these tradeoffs through a lens of health justice, paying particular attention to the potential impact on vulnerable populations. The ethical tradeoffs explored include the charge that heavy regu...
Article
35 million people die annually of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), 80% of them in low- and middle-income countries - representing a marked epidemiological transition from infectious to chronic diseases and from richer to poorer countries. The total number of NCDs is projected to rise by 17% over the coming decade, absent significant interventions....
Article
Full-text available
Blurring of public/private divide is occurring in different ways around the world, with differential effects in terms of access and equity. In Canada, one pathway towards privatization has received particular attention: duplicative private insurance, allowing those with the financial means to bypass queues in the public system. We assess recent leg...
Article
In Law’s Meaning of Life, Ngaire Naffine pursues the question, ‘Who is Law For?’. In this critical review, I argue that the question is ill-formed, as the law’s conception of the person rightly varies from one context to another. I further argue that answering questions about the nature of persons would not help us to resolve pressing ethical and l...
Article
Liberals in the Rawlsian tradition hold that the just society is one in which citizens enjoy an equal scheme of rights and liberties. In this paper I consider two apparent asymmetries of rights that arise under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: 1. The right to freedom of religion has been defined far more generously than the corollary ri...

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