Dan Oudshoorn

Articles by Dan Oudshoorn

provincehealth-copyHealthcare as Regulation and Social Control of the Poor

with Dave Diewert

A few years back a friend went through a rough time. Eventually, he decided to go see his doctor. Hours later, the police escorted him out of the clinic in handcuffs. They took him into an ambulance not a police car, and he was driven with police accompaniment to an emergency room in a psych ward where he was put in four-point restraint. Later, he was transferred into a ward with locked rooms that resembled jail cells, and put under close surveillance. His every move was restricted, regulated, and monitored. He was stripped of his rights and incarcerated because medical experts considered him to be a threat to the safety of himself or others. The Rule of Law is what is said to govern our social, political and economic life together. But these laws are not objective; they serve particular interests. In the settler colonial state of Canada, laws have been constructed to dispossess Indigenous people from traditional lands that settlers want to acquire. Laws displace low-income people from homes that corporations want to redevelop. Laws support the exploitation of migrant labour for commercial profit. (…)