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Author: Shannon Linden

A Good End: a look at doctor-assisted death

As the June 6 deadline approaches for the federal government to impose doctor-assisted death legislation, we revisit one of our stories looking at both sides of the right-to-die debate within the Okanagan. As poet Dylan Thomas urged, we do not go gently, we fight with our last dying breath to hold onto the inexplicably beautiful gift of life. Yet dying is our destiny. Just as life is lived in a profoundly personal way for each of us, death is unique for everyone—a sentiment at the heart of the hotly debated topic of assisted dying. I began researching the “right...

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Taking Aim: How Childhood Shots Save Lives

When six-week old Callum* stopped cooing and started coughing, his parents were concerned. A sweet baby, he loved to practice his new smile—until his siblings got sick. At first the older children’s symptoms presented like common colds—mild coughs, low-grade fevers, runny noses. A week later, they were plagued by coughing spells that left them gasping for air. Soon Callum caught the disease, continuous coughing squeezing the air from his little lungs, his struggles to inhale marked by a distinctive, whooping sound. Rushed to the ER, blue from a lack of oxygen, he was brought to the resuscitation room and...

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Fit for a Long Life: strength training benefits

Strength training benefits seniors “I started exercising when I retired,” says 82-year old Christine Albert. After running a coffee shop in Penticton, she and her husband moved to Kelowna, where Christine hung up her apron and pulled on a pair of running shoes. “I had osteoporosis,” she explains. “I wanted to prevent further damage.” “Older adults want to stay active as long as they can and carry on their favourite activities,” says Bobbi Kittle, owner of Pursuit Fitness and a personal trainer at the Seniors’ Centre in Kelowna, where Christine works out. “They want to fight the signs of...

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The Best Medicine – Dr. Mike Ertel

The revolving door swishes open with the arrival of sick or injured people and clicks closed as hundreds of treated patients depart. This is the daily dance of the emergency department and for Dr. Mike Ertel, it’s more tango than waltz. Dr. Mike has donned some different caps during his 16 years at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH): full-time emergency room physician, former chief and medical director of the ER and, until recently, medical director of emergency services for Interior Health. But like the chaos inherent in his specialty, this doctor thrives on challenge and change. Meet the latest chief...

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New CPR Guidelines Tell us to Sing!

  The sun is dancing across the sky and spring is in the air. You’re ready to celebrate with your first round of golf. Hefting your bag over your shoulder, the weight adds only a beat to your brisk walk, but your buddy—the one who longingly eyed the golf carts—is looking a little red in the face. Beads of sweat pop out on his forehead and his breathing sounds a little shallow. You make it through the round, but on the way to the car after the 19th hole, he suddenly drops his bag and clutches at his heart....

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