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IN MEMORIAM: James (Jamie) Peter Laws, BA, CAT(C), DC, FRCCSS(C)(Hon)

December 16, 1950 – May 30, 2020


September 15, 2020
By John A. Taylor

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Dr. James Peter Laws passed away on May 30, 2020 at age 69. He is survived by his wife Cathryn, daughter Maeghan, son-in-law Michael, grandson Kaelan, and brothers Malcolm and Gavin as well as many nieces and nephews.

Dr. Laws attended Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) from 1975 to 1979. He was class president for four years and student government president for two years. Even after graduation he was always the “Class of ‘79” leader up until his final days. He practiced chiropractic and athletic therapy in Toronto for 40 years, retiring in 2019. In his practice, he was trusted by many Olympic and professional athletes as well as dancers from the National Ballet for advice and management of their unique health care needs and to treat and rehabilitate their athletic injuries. He has worked at three Olympic Games (Montreal, Calgary and Seoul), Pan-Am Games, and the Para-Olympic Games. In addition, Dr. Laws has served as Athletic Therapist and chiropractor for many National and Provincial teams.

Jamie was the first Athletic Therapist in Canada to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. He was the Toronto Argonauts Football Team chiropractor for nearly twenty years. He has served in many capacities for the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) and its provincial counterpart OATA for over 40 years.  Dr. Laws was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame of the CATA at its 50th annual conference on May 28, 2016.

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He was a pioneer in Athletic Injury Management not only within the chiropractic profession, but also in the profession of athletic therapy nationally and internationally emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of athletes. Dr. Laws developed and taught the first 30-hour credit course at CMCC in the Principles and Management of Athletic Injuries beginning in 1975.  He taught this course to several generations of Canadian chiropractors.  In 1983, wrote a textbook entitled “Chiropractic Treatment of the Lower Limb”. Dr. Laws was also recognized nationally as a pioneer in teaching the diagnosis, management and treatment of extremities.

Dr. Laws was the first president of the Canadian Chiropractic Sports Academy to be elected by the membership in 1981 and was appointed as a Fellow, FCCSS(C). He was also chair of the CCA committee on Sports and Fitness.

Dr. Laws has always been one of CMCC’s most dedicated alumni. He served for nine years on the Council of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario and he was on the editorial board of the “Canadian Chiropractor” periodical and a contributing author from 2003 to 2018. At the time of his death, Dr. Laws was the President of the York Peel Chiropractic Society for which he has served in several capacities for 40 years and where his colleagues recognize him as the backbone of their organization.

He graduated from York University with a BA, Specialized Honours in Physical Education and Geography in 1973. He was in the first cohort to pass the CAT(C) certification examination in 1975. He was a founding member of the Acupuncture Council of Ontario in 1995 and was appointed a fellow of McLaughlin College at York University in 2005.  In 1973 he was appointed Head Athletic Therapist at McMaster University, and in 1976 he was named acting Head Athletic Therapist at York University.

To cap off his career, Dr. Laws received the 2019 Ontario Chiropractic Association “Dr. Michael Brickman Heart & Hands Award” for being an enduring influence on the chiropractic profession, encompassing advocacy, education, service, leadership and clinical expertise for more than 40 years.

He will be sadly missed by his family, friends, patients, and colleagues alike.

—John A. Taylor, DC, DACBR CMCC Class of ‘79 Hamburg, NY


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