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What we're reading

Hello BMSA readers! Another week, another WWR… we appreciate all those who follow this series and we hope that every two weeks you get something out of it as well. Please email any suggestions or concerns to, so that we can help make the WWR series the best it can be.

The case for getting fitter — not slimmer: Why our obsession with weight could be a mistake

Courtesy of the National Post

Contributor Claire Millard

There is a lot of concern that is often generated when the term ‘obesity’ is discussed. Dr. Gaesser examines the populations general consensus that obesity is “premature death waiting to happen” and challenges this view with an argument of fitness vs. weight-loss.

Yes, it is true that obesity is a growing issue within our population, but what is it about obesity that is actually the problem? Dr. Gaesser, from Arizona State University poses an argument that we should put more focus on getting ‘fit’ and increasing cardiorespiratory fitness or aerobic fitness then on actual weight loss. He advocates that these are the problems that are stronger predictors of death then the number on the scale. Other studies have shown the dangers of weight cycling and the low success rates of weight loss leading to increased interest in the fitter not slimmer debate. Although this sounds convincing, these views are not held by all of those in the field and both sides should be considered in the next steps in improving the health of our population.

Egg Donations: Threats, Bills and Harassment

Courtesy of

Contributor Simi Juriasingani

With the ever-increasing access to reproductive technology, this piece highlights the important perils that egg donors may face as they embark on a journey to help a couple with becoming parents. Egg donation is incredibly challenging as it involves changing hormone levels and an invasive medical procedure. Considering the personal toll this could take on a donor, one would think that the women who donate their eggs would be treated with the utmost respect. Instead they are routinely seen as a means to an end by clinics and their autonomy is often undermined. From forged agreements and fraudulent bills to threats and medical neglect, this article delves into important and insightful examples of the coercive and illegal actions that take place behind the scenes in fertility clinics. However, considering the corporate nature of the reproductive technology industry, it's up to donors to stay educated about their rights throughout the donation process while the appropriate regulatory legislature is passed and enforced.

Is it ethical for doctors to google their patients?

Courtesy of camj

Contributor Ramtin Hakimjavadi

This article, from the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), takes a look at an interesting question facing many clinicians in today’s information era. Namely, to what extent is it okay for physicians to use online aids, such as Google or social media, to learn more about their patients’ backgrounds? On the one hand, the information found online about someone could be very useful in trying to construct a medical history. For example, one could learn that a patient has a family history of heart disease, through their involvement in charities and interactions with relatives on social media. However, it can also be viewed as a breach of trust between a physician and their patient, as a patient has a right to choose what they disclose to their doctor. Today, this remains a grey area with no clear guidelines established. As the digital footprint of the general public grows, the need for clear ethical guidelines on how to learn about a patient’s background will become increasingly urgent.

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