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U Of T Visionary Made Free Vaccines, Committed Suicide


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Hi folks,

 

Stumbled onto this article about John FitzGerald -- one of the U of T Academies is named after him.

 

He founded Toronto's Connaught Labs in 1914. Connaught Labs developed and manufactured vaccines, medications and insulin (discovered there in the 20s) AND distributed them to Canadians for free, despite opposition from for-profit manufacturers. It's since been taken over by a huge multi-national corporation.

 

FitzGerald's story is also about mental illness and its treatment in Canada: even though he began his career in neurology and psychiatry, after two failed attempts at suicide and a brutal rehabilitation regime, he ultimately killed himself by severing his own femoral artery with cutlery from his hospital food tray. (That's right.)

 

FitzGerald's story may be 100 years old -- but somehow it sounds awfully contemporary. We still don't have pharmacare in Canada, let alone local, non-commercial drug manufacturing. We still have a long way to go in building a truly comprehensive and accessible mental health system. 

 

Enough of my rant. Here's the article:

 

http://magazine.utoronto.ca/feature/john-gerald-fitzgerald-history-of-canadian-health-care/#commentanchor

 

Kathryn

 
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