Heroin-assisted treatment goes to the courts - Macleans.ca

Heroin-assisted treatment goes to the courts

Five patients challenge the Health Minister


In regards to the decision of Health Minister Rona Ambrose to block access to pharmaceutical heroin through Health Canada’s Special Access Program, Providence Health Care and five participants in the SALOME study are now seeking to challenge the federal government in court.

The notice of civil claim filed with the BC Supreme Court can be viewed here.

Asked for a response, Ms. Ambrose’s office sends along the following statement.

Our Government has closed loopholes that allow for the feeding of addiction under the guise of treatment. Under the Special Access Program, Health Canada can approve emergency access to certain medicines for Canadians with rare diseases or terminal illness. This program was not intended as a way to give illicit drugs to addicts. To keep dangerous drugs like heroin out of Canadian communities, our Government has taken action to protect the integrity of the Special Access Program and close this loophole. We will continue to protect Canadian families and communities against the harmful effects of dangerous and illegal drugs.

Conversely, Liberal MP Hedy Fry tweets her support.

See previously:  The politics of the heroin addictHeroin-assisted treatment and politics-based medicinePerry Kendall on heroin-assisted treatment‘No evidence,’ Minister Ambrose? and ‘Under the guise of treatment’


Heroin-assisted treatment goes to the courts

  1. It is very disturbing seeing the “Health Minister” whom has no education in the health and wellness industry what so ever, dictating to Canadian addicts they have lost the support from the health care system from the dictatorship tactics we have become accustomed to under the Conservative Government. Maybe Ms. Ambrose could meet with the “Minister of Defence” and see why our tour of duty in Afghanistan after 10 years and hundreds of millions of dollars has produced a significantly higher output of Heroin year after year for the world to use including Canadians. Also the fact that most Heroin comes from the area and province in Afghanistan where we were providing security forces for.

  2. I would like to see Rona Ambrose answer a question about the special relationship between Stephen Harper and Rob Ford. That special fishin’-buddy, BBQ-buddy, subway-subsidy-buddy relationship.

    Ambrose’s predecessor, Leona Aglukkaq, approved the manufacture of generic oxytocin in Canada.

    Our largest trading partner is in pain. Canada is here to help. Jobs, growth and long term prosperity.

    How is that plan working out Rona? Rob Ford would like to thank you for thinking of consumers like him. Leona would like everyone to try heart-of-seal.

  3. The Harper Conservatives are once again intruding on provincial jurisdiction over healthcare by criminalizing treatment decisions. How do they square that with their pretend value of smaller government?

    • They’re not “criminalizing treatment decisions”. Heroin is illegal. They’ve closed a loophole that makes it legal for some addicts.

      • Calling it a loophole doesn’t change the fact that they have made it illegal for physicians to administer heroin as a treatment for heroin addiction.

        • Calling it “treatment” doesn’t change the fact that the Liberals want to give free heroin to junkies.

          • It’s doctors who treat heroin addicts who want to have the option of using heroin when other methods fail. You don’t have to be against it just because a Liberal tweeted her opinion. You could, for instance read the results of the study that was published in NEJM. Here’s a recap: http://www.providenceresearch.ca/naomi-study.html

          • I don’t need to read a study to understand that giving free heroin to junkies makes the junkies happy. But I am amazed that somebody would actually produce a “research study” on something so blindly obvious.

          • Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland and Germany all currently treat chronic heroin addicts who have failed at other treatments. These are done on a case by case basis. This is a medical decision made first by the treating doctor supported by Vancouver Coastal Health and finally by Health Canada. There is plenty of evidence to support this medical decision.

          • There’s also plenty of evidence that shows that giving free heroin to heroin addicts simply enables their addiction.

          • I would be happy to see that law changed so that you, who doesn’t need “science” and who obviously knows more about practicing medicine than doctors, could practice medicine on yourself and your fellow CPC members. But the non-imbiciles would like to see medicine continue to be governed by science and administered by doctors.

  4. So now the Liberals are in support of legalizing not only marijuana, but heroin too?! Are they looking to court Ford Nation’s votes? How long until they start advocating legalized crack usage?

    • Better to keep it illegal, more fun for Conservatives that way.

      • No pictures of Justin smoking drugs have been revealed,YET!

        • Maybe we could ask one of his stalkers to come forward.

    • Curious why you are so vocal on Ford when your beloved federal government is so silent on his indiscretions — hangs out with him, parties, trips, etc? Is that what the talking points say? Or are you going rogue like Rathgeber?

    • Are you saying that heroin was legalized until Ambrose became the minister?
      Was it due to incompetence or indifference that the Conservatives oversaw years of legalized heroin?