The Life and Times of Pierre and Joan Delva

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A collaborative biography tracing the authors’ recollections of some chapters of modern medical history as it pertained to their lives and other interesting views.

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A fruitful collaboration between Pierre L. Delva and wife Joan Campbell-Delva, The Biography of a New Canadian Family is a tracery of certain paths that the main subjects took in the process of claiming worthy positions in the world. It takes into account the life models that influenced the course of their lives in Europe and North America. The book is thus divided in that way – the early years in Europe that mostly involves Pierre Delva and the life of blessed union between him and Joan Campbell in Canada and North America.

The Delvas took their influences from people both of their family and society at large. Numbering in the former are the husband’s maverick father; among the latter are Dr. Norman Bethune, the Communist medical hero of the Spanish Civil War and the Sino-Japanese War. In time Joan Delva would become secretary to the Norman Bethune Foundation; Pierre Delva would become its chairman a year later.

Political persuasions aside, the Delvas subscribe to a humanitarian ideal in the practice of medicine, as did Bethune. Furthermore, Pierre Delva numbered Jesuits among his most influential models in his formative years. The book infuses into the text the many things that make up the life of the intellect; it lays historical facts as foundational bases for the pathways that their lives have taken; it is a very insightful reading of the modern make-up of the Canadian political demographic; and its analytical value pertaining to how great events and historical forces influence lives is non-pareil.

An opening quotation from Hippocrates found in the book is its philosophical lodestone: “Life is short but the art is long, the opportunity fleeting, the experiment perilous, the judgment difficult.” Finally, the book is a wonderfully artful representation of modern medical history in the context of general history and the numerous changes, philosophical and technological, it has underwent in the service of humanity.

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About the Author
Pierre Delva was mostly educated by a dying father, a Belgian GP in East London, UK. Acquired several specialty certificates in Canada, then asked to create a new department for teaching new doctors Family Medicine in the second largest school in the country, L’Université de Montreal.

The Biography of a New Canadian Family * by Pierre L. Delva and Joan Campbell-Delva
Publication Date: March 30, 2012
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 180 pages; 978-1-46915-878-5
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 180 pages; 978-1-46915-879-2
eBook; $$3.99; 978-1-46915-880-8

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