Our theme is to empower; the goal is self-reliance. An ancient, intuitive proverb sums it up: If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; but teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. The Latin phrase ‘Tuum Est’ means It is up to you – an echo of the struggle faced by myself and many others with chronic disease or physical disability.
Tuum Est is an educational website which publishes:
Send emails to share your story, to vent, comment, ask questions or offer suggestions, to discuss encounters with disability stereotypes, or just to connect with someone whose journey mirrors your own.
We are planning a section devoted to stereotypes aimed at the physically disabled. It would be useful to map the nature of each stereotype, how firmly those stereotypes are entrenched, and whether they change across regions of Canada, and across the globe. As we analyze the underlying cause of each stereotype, we are led to workable counter-measures.
We reply to most emails, but cannot advocate on an individual basis. To provide any meaningful advice – to suggest a probable next step that you haven't already tried – would prove a hit-or-miss process unless we knew your full history. We cannot set aside days or weeks of time for that work, worthy though each case may be.
When you contact us, your name, email address, and the experience you describe will never be published nor alluded to on our site without your express permission. As stated on our FAQ page, Tuum Est has no built-in Forum or Comment capability. We applaud the search for resources, but our visitors are often struggling with injustice and prefer to start their work in private. In time, when ready, readers may decide to publish their own story.
Take a moment to read the following Tuum Est Policy pages:
My musical instrument was the Highland Bagpipes. For a decade I marched as Pipe Sergeant in the Bonnie Bluebells Pipe Band of Saskatoon, Canada. At every celebration, the city asked us to parade in our kilts of Ancient Sutherland tartan, playing sprightly Scottish strathspeys, reels, and slow-airs. In solo competition, my Piobaireachd trophies took pride of place on my mantlepiece, as I love this classical music of the bagpipes. My sports were aerobic dance, and Judo at the level of green belt (4th kyu).
My education includes two university degrees in Physics. At the University of British Columbia, my thesis research, titled Non-Linear Resonant Photoionization, used tunable lasers as the experimental tool and non-linear optics as the theoretical foundation. My thesis was written under my maiden name Petty, as were my publications in Physical Review Letters and the Canadian Journal of Physics.
After graduation I worked full-time as a research scientist in physics and systems analysis until I developed a cascade of serious autoimmune diseases, which at time of diagnosis were considered uncommon (Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or CRPS Type I, and Interstitial Cystitis).
As a hobby, I constructed logic and math puzzles. A handful of my early puzzles are online, for example Bumper Crop. When time permits, I will publish on Tuum Est new and original puzzles in the categories of word logic, figure logic, and brain teaser. Difficulty level: from one-star (easy) to five-star (expert). Enjoy thinking in three dimensions? Try Cubism and Cube Trio. For a logic puzzle in rhyme, go to The Cubist Painter. You will find other creative writing in the Reflections segment, including a satire titled Medi-Caper.
Our site has two intertwining branches: medicine and law. These fields have life-changing import, thus we seriously demarcate the difference between medical or legal advice (which we cannot do), and general advocacy (which we can do).
Individual Advice – To give medical or legal advice means to list all known or viable options, and recommend which option you should choose to suit your case and your goals. Such an advisor is regulated by formal Bylaws. In Saskatchewan these are respectively the Medical Profession Bylaws and the Law Society Code of Professional Conduct. The requirements are strict, but also sensible: Full access to, and familiarity with, your full medical chart or legal case-file, plus a university diploma in Medicine or Law.
General Advocacy – Webmaster Georgena Sil, with university degrees in Physics, works on the principle of general advocacy. Tuum Est is a scholarly site, fairly academic in tone. Our purpose is to educate and inform, particularly with lesser-known medical and legal topics. Though we are not a Support Group, we share this common stance: The recommended course of action is for you to discuss any material with a professional in the field. Take relevant articles or notes with you into an appointment and negotiate a team effort with your doctor or lawyer.
That step is easier said than done if the doctor or lawyer him/herself was the instigator of injustice and caused your dilemma, and if politics within the profession hinders you from locating a loyal replacement. In that event you need an advisor who works either outside the system, or tangential to the system – for example a pastor, a university medical student or law student, or someone in an adjunct role such as a nurse or paralegal.
Aim for an advisor in your own town or city because legislation and complaint guidelines vary by province. This includes the Civil Law Statutes, Queen's Bench Rules of Court, and procedural rules for investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Law Society.
If you file a medical malpractice or negligence suit in Canada, your ultimate opponent will be the Canadian Medical Protective Association (or CMPA). Job one is to find an attorney not hampered by a conflict of interest, without close ties to that mutual defence organization.
Tuum Est surveyed the field in detail, then published lists, by province, of the CMPA Law Firms in Canada. These are law firms whose intense loyalty to the CMPA is self-proclaimed (in Lexpert or other law-firm directories), or publicly established (through court rulings on CanLII).
On the other side of the coin, to find who to hire, we suggest searching news reports which discuss the scorched earth tactics of the CMPA. For this news, journalists invariably interview lawyers, whose opinions are a guide to whether they support defendants (doctors) or plaintiffs (patients).
Also search CanLII, the database of Canadian court rulings, for good outcomes in med-mal trials. To win, the plaintiff must prove: the health practitioner owed a duty of care; the treatment fell below the average standard of care for the region; the injury was reasonably foreseeable; and the breach in duty of care was the proximate cause of the injury. Drawback: the most palpable cases are settled out of court, thus are not published.
In criminal law, there are Innocence Projects staffed by attorneys who courageously crusade to identify and exonerate cases of wrongful conviction. These projects retain private investigators who surprisingly often succeed in uncovering solid evidence the police missed. Examples:
(formerly Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted)
|■||United States||Innocence Project|
Tuum Est has considered whether to offer a paid research service to locate articles and resources for individual readers. The question is not closed, but becomes increasingly unlikely due to time constraints as our writing, now more ambitious, includes in-depth series as well as single articles. Tuum Est work-in-progress: the Gabapentin Series.
Note: Tuum Est is pronounced ‘toom est’.
Tuum Est - It Is Up To You
What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly
Lao Tzu (601-531 BC)
Pre-WWII postcards depict a “Saskatoon Girls Pipe Band.” In the 1960s the “Bonnie Bluebells” band was formed. Members wore deep blue velvet jackets with kilts in Ancient Sutherland tartan. The band marched on parade and competed at local Highland Games until the 1980s.
Photo: Competition Quintet at the Kinsmen International Band Festival held annually in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The five Bonnie Bluebells are:
Pipe bands play Ceòl Beag (Gaelic for little music): marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs, retreats. Classical bagpipe music — Piobaireachd or Ceòl Mór (Gaelic for big music) — suits only individual pipers because it has intricate groupings of grace notes (taorluath, crunluath) fitted lightning-quick in between the melody notes.
Copyright © 2008-2019 Georgena Sil. All Rights Reserved.