‘That’s their choice’

by Aaron Wherry

A few weeks after a group of doctors and medical professionals called on Conservative MP Kellie Leitch to renounce her government’s position on asbestos, a group of individuals who’ve lost loved ones to asbestos-related illness are calling on Ms. Leitch to choose between politics and her medical license. When she spoke to the Barrie Advance earlier this month, she seemed unpersuaded by the controversy.

“The Canadian government has stated that it supports the safe controlled use of Chrysotile,” said Leitch. “It will continue to do so, anything to do with the decision that [buyers] make – that’s their choice.” … When asked about how her medical expertise affects her decision to support or not support the mining and export of asbestos, Leitch, an orthopedic surgeon, said her expertise is in bones. 




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‘That’s their choice’

    • I’m sure the woman in that photo has been completely made aware of the dangers of handling asbestos by her caring employer.  It’s her choice to contract lung cancer.  More than that, it’s her desire!  Lung cancer is a badge of honour in developing nations.

  1. This woman has sold her soul – and for what  – watching the guys play hockey? 

  2. This is so shameful and just about as close to insane as you can get without some guy in a white coat carting you off for a nice long rest. If the stuff can’t be used safely in Canada, where some kind of safety standards and training do exist, how the hell can we in good conscience sell it to the third world, where little or none exist – it’s so cynical as to be breathtaking. Let this so called Dr have the crap installed in her house; let her try and find someone who’ll install it for her.

    • Let us please, please remember this the next time we go off bombing someplace “in their best interests.”  We very obviously don’t give a crap about their best interests–unless we’re getting something out of it.  Let’s absolutely openly shoo away that argument the moment its made (instead of musing behind our hands as to what we’re getting out of it, the way we do now).

      • You’re right of course. In many instances self interest rules in politics at all levels. It’s human i suppose. Although that’s no reason to accept it.
        And what’s even nuttier is that there aren’t any really big political stakes here. Asbetos is not a major employer in Quebec and since it’s in [ as far as i know] a largely Francophone region it’s unlikely to translate into any sort of meaningful votes for a federalist party. I don’t subscribe to this kind of political cynicism myself, but even on that basis, where’s the upside of defending Asbestos?

  3. She’s clearly made her choice. Now let’s see if the OMA has the nerve to pursue an ethics investigation.

    • Won’t happen, because that opens the door to trumped-up charges against any licensee whose politics conflict with the official OMA line on policy, whatever it may be now or in the future. They’re not foolish enough to kneecap their legitimacy as a regulatory body like that.

      • Yeah; my comment was really on the cynical side; I’d frankly be shocked if they even went so far as to make a condemnatory statement. Political bodies of any type rarely have the stomach to take a moral stance on anything.

        • I find AVR’s excuse[as it often is with him], raw cynicism. It amounts to: if we allow that it opens the door for every crack pot with a partisan axe to grind; IOWs an exuse to look the other way – wash your hands. There’s no need to take her license or anything that draconian,but given how clear cut the issues are around the health effects of asbestos why shouldn’t she have to defend her apparent lack of professional ethics? As for setting a stampede of politically motivated cases – pish posh; doesn’t the OMA have any confidence in its ability to  discriminate between a clear cut conflict of ones professional ethics and the merely frivolous or politcal?
          My advise, for what its worth, is for one of those families to take her to the OMA [ if that's the appropriate body?] and pursue this case. Maybe she’ll even develop some backbone and take a stand in caucus?

  4. I wonder if Leitch will be as useful to Harper as Guergis was.  Helena was very attractive and articulated the party line very well. She  was always situated in the house in such a way that she was in camera view when Harper rose in the Question Period.

    • Kind of struck out on the ‘attractive’ part…

  5. “I don’t know nothing about lungs.  What do I care?”

    Sometimes I wonder how certain people even get in to med school.

    • And even more to the point, how they graduate out of it!

      • I’ve heard reports from friends who became doctors that med schools don’t fail students (although they hopefully encourage the worst students to drop out).  I have no idea if this is true, or just a cynical impression my friends went away with after their studies.

  6. Her expertise is in bones?

    Asbestos makes a lot of those.

    • Yeah, amazing a ‘bone doctor’ could turn out to be such an invertebrate…but hey she’s only a girl in Harpo’s  “Man World” – she doesn’t want to get kicked to the curb like poor Helena did.

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