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Medical Ethics

An Error in Judgement

The Politics Of Medical Care in an Indian/White Community

by (author) Dara Culhane

Initial publish date
Jan 1987
Ethics, Corruption & Misconduct, Native American
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1987
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2014
    List Price

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On January 22, 1979, an eleven-year-old Native girl died of a ruptured appendix in an Alert Bay, B.C. hospital. The events that followed are chronicled here by Dara Culhane Speck, a member by marriage of the Nimpkish Indian Band in Alert Bay. She has relied mainly on interviews, anecdotes and public records to describe how this small, isolated Native community took on the local hospital, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, provincial and federal ministries of health and national media, because their private tragedy held implications that reached far beyond one child, one physician, one town and even one century.

About the author

Dara Culhane received her Ph.D. in 1994 and teaches anthropology at Simon Fraser University. From 1992 to 1994, she was Deputy Director of Social and Cultural Research for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Her first book, An Error in Judgement, probes the controversial 1979 death of a First Nations child who died of an undiagnosed ruptured appendix in Alert Bay, B.C. She continued her work with The Pleasure of the Crown, which offers an in-depth analysis of Aboriginal title litigation in British Columbia and examines the cultural values and biases of the courts from an anthropologist’s point of view. Culhane’s research has also appeared in BC Studies, Native Studies Review and The Journal of Human Justice.

Dara Culhane's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Successfully forces the liberal white reader to look beyond totem poles and quaint Indian baskets to our common history.”
Vancouver Sun

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