“First, do no harm” is the most famous passage of the Hippocratic Oath, the oldest ethical code for physicians in the Western world. In a different light, it could also be a guiding principle in the face of climate catastrophe.
Effective healthcare and climate change work share an emphasis on preventing a problem as more valuable than treating its consequences. Climate change is already imprinting itself on the health of Canadians, and medical organizations, including social impact organizations focused on health, are keenly aware. While doctors and nurses in Canada’s public health system focus on treating patients affected by rising temperatures, extreme weather, and a less hospitable education, health related social impact organizations such as the Canadian Lung Association and the Melanoma Network of Canada are playing an important role by educating Canadians.
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