Monday, August 18, 2008

Tony Clement's decisions are based on political science, not the real kind

That is a parsed quote from an article written last June by the President of the CMA (Canadian Medical Association) Dr. Brian Day.

Dr. Day's article "Ottawa's bad prescription on addiction" was written in response to the governments announcement that it would appeal the B.C. Supreme Court's decision on Vancouver's safe injection site, despite the scientific evidence of the positive role harm-reduction programs can play in society.

Instead of closing down this site, the federal government should be working with public-health officials to see if such sites might work in other areas.
Health Minister Tony Clement has stated that "science is one of the issues that must be taken into account when it comes to a public policy decision." In this matter, the science is clear: Harm reduction is a proven and effective tool.
Marginalizing an already vulnerable population and leaving them at even greater risk of disease and death is bad medicine and, as the polls show, even worse politics. And with the B.C. government's plans to intervene on behalf of Insite, Canadians should rightly wonder why their tax dollars are going to be financing both sides of this argument.
They also should wonder why the federal government seems to be opposed to safe injection sites in British Columbia, but is willing to consider them in Quebec. Clement's public hedging on Quebec's proposal is further proof that his decision appears to be based on political science and not the real thing.
When it comes to safe injection sites, Conservatives need to consider the health of all Canadians, not just those who agree with the government's ideological bias against drug-addicted patients.

And in shear political payback, Clement had the nerve today to lecture the good doctor and his professional colleagues about ethics.

"I find the ethical considerations of supervised injections to be profoundly disturbing."

No Tony, what is disturbing is that our Minister of Health is more concerned about political ideologies than ensuring the healthcare for all Canadians (including drug addicts in BC).

First by flip flopping on statements you made about Insite here,  your stance on nuclear safety here, your burying of the report by Health Canada climate change warnings here and your embarrassing performance at the International HIV/Aids conference here.


What would you know about ethics Tony?






References: Dr. Day's article from the Star here, Clements comments from the Globe here. HIV Conference from Queer Liberal here.

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