Before being released from the Ontario hospital system, the medical authorities did me the favour of diagnosing several supplementary conditions. I have for instance “Diabetes Two,” and Cataracts. That way I assured them of return visits; and with the cardiac surgery itself, there was already the promise that my relationship with doctors would not consist of sheer gratitude.

It almost did, and in my view, the Toronto General is, despite many government efforts to merge it into mediocrity, among the world’s greatest hospitals. But there comes a point where its customer has outstayed his welcome; and then, he must be loaded into a panel truck without suspension and delivered to some other hospital — where his treatment can be more tedious than in the halls of the General’s ICU.

Cardiac restrictions ban salt; diabetic restrictions ban sugar. Plenty of other things are denied — alcohol and tobacco hardly needed to be listed — but diabetes adds more or less constant blood-sugar testing, with the prospect of being poked with needles. Still, salt and sugar alone between them can devastate eating habits; so can the prospect of a diabetic coma, and the promise of further strokes.

But it is not clear, from the Canadian “lifestyle,” why death should be so neurotically avoided.

As I was reminded on the outside, the medicalization of Canadian life had already achieved unpredictable accomplishments. The Batflu Hysteria had advanced as far in Ontario as in Cuba, or Red China, and our simpleton premier was in a panic, locking down businesses and cancelling public events for the Third Wave. In most other, non-Canadian jurisdictions the panic seems to have passed after only two waves, but Canada is special. The demand for freedom here does not exist, except from a few hotheads in Montreal.

But medicalization certainly exists, as one sees from within the cocoon of professional medical treatment. It continues everywhere. “Safety first” is our national motto, and it enters the human animal with his nutrition.