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What's in the news: Jun. 5 -- Feds buy heroin for Vancouver addicts

Gov't funds free-heroin clinic in Vancouver
Health Canada gave its approval to a research clinic in Vancouver that goes well beyond the mandate of the controversial safe-injection Insite clinic: this new one will distribute free heroin to addicts. The research project is called SALOME and is a follow-up to NAOMI. [Globe and Mail] [All Headline News]

In related news, the Ontario Press Council dismissed a complaint made by Drs Thomas Kerr and Evan Wood -- two BC scholars who have been among the leading researchers in the world on the effects safe-injection clinics have on HIV/AIDS rates -- against The Globe and Mail for a column by Margaret Wente that they felt impugned their reputations as researchers. [Canadian Press]

Quebec will re-do 2100 breast cancer pathology tests
Acting on the recommendation of a committee of medical experts, Quebec Health Minister Dr Yves Bolduc announced on Thursday that 2,100 breast cancer pathology tests would have to be re-analyzed to ensure no errors are adversely affecting patients' treatment. The committee was formed in response to a study issued by the Quebec Association of Pathologists that found very high error rates in breast cancer pathology tests. [Ministry of Health and Social Services news release]

Isotope shortage gets political
Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt took a shot at the federal opposition this week when she said that, because foreign suppliers will be able to fill Canadian demand for radioisotopes while the Chalk River nuclear plant is shut down, there is no need to overreact. "I think it's incredibly important that we don't have fear mongering for people in Canada with respect to this issue," she told a House of Commons committee investigating the radioisotope shortage. [Edmonton Sun]

Little did she know at the time she'd soon be on the defensive. One of Ms Raitt's aides had left behind secret documents showing undisclosed spending on Chalk River at the offices of CTV News the week before, the news organization reported. [Canadian Press] Surely thinking back to the incident that forced Maxime Bernier to step down from cabinet, Ms Raitt offered Prime Minister Stephen Harper her resignation but he declined it. The aide responsible for the documents, however, was fired. [Globe and Mail]

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, surely sensing an opportunity for political gain, hinted that the Chalk River shutdown could become an election issue, while some journalists have been talking about the possibility of a summer or fall federal election. [Toronto Star]

A quick round-up of more recent health news
An international team of researchers, including Canadians, found that the HPV vaccine Gardasil offers at least eight years of protection against the virus. [Merck Frosst news release]

Quebec announced a universal newborn hearing screening program. [Montreal Children's Hospital news release]

The first class of doctors has graduated from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. [NOSM news release]

A Montreal man was forced to deliver his baby in the Royal Victoria hospital in downtown Montreal without help from nurses or physicians. "The nurse did come by our room twice but didn't really come in but just stood at the door and said, 'I'll be there in a few minutes, I'll be there in a few minutes,'" said the father. "I just put my hand on his chest, and my fingers around his armpits, and my other hand kind of on his face …and I just pulled him out." [CBC News]

Privacy-law confusion may harm health research, reported a new Canadian study. [Healthcare Policy]

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3 comments:

  1. sharon5 June, 2009 9:45 AM

    RE: heroin provision for addicts

    I think the " harm reduction " perspective is here to stay in the context of "evidence-based practice"(EBP) and "evidence based medicine"(EBM).

    It seems the "do no harm" concept has been redefined as "not going against the patient's will".
    Think of all the times in your life where you had to "harness your will" in order to get where you are now....aren't you glad someone/somewhere told you that in that harnessing you are able to be guided to stay safely on track?

    I read this and think......what's in a name?

    "Naomi" was the strong-willed beacon for her daughter-in-law Ruth who followed the inspiration of Naomi ( 'whither thou goest I will go, thy people will be my people, thy God will be my God' ).... and she guided Ruth into a bright new life.

    "Salome" was the vixen daughter of Herod's wife..and she danced her way into securing this king's commitment to have John the Baptist beheaded ( thus silencing a voice of reason).

    If you have no "power" to control your "will" the lessons in these past events won't be of interest to you.
    After all...who really wants to go to any trouble to do anything...when comfort is so readily available?

    However, this entire process of how and who "restores" anyone addicted.... to anything..... may not be the role of the state.
    Maybe it is OK for politicians and legislators to take the "harm reduction" stance........BUT..... why should the "human services/health professionals" adopt it?
    What is their rationale?
    Does it have an ethic or model undergirding it's performance standards?
    Just exactly "what" evidence is it based on.

    [ read The Elora Prescription and be "spooked" even about your own community role in the future]

    Let me tell you a story:

    I was involved in a national project to sensitize a faith-based community on how to participate in P3 partnerships. In this process I was in B.C. for several weeks and one faith-based group was holding 24 hour prayer vigils focussed on reviving people's interest and ability to seek and embrace change.

    I was on the night shift and the church door was not locked. In the middle of the night a young man in his early 20's was scouting around looking for money. In his search he came upon me watching him from my prayer station.
    I am pretty non-reactive ( in the moment) .....and since he was unable to "read" my non-reaction.....he plunged headlong into a litany of life sorrow's, wrong friends and sequential steps leading to his ultimate addiction to heroin.

    He was a nice boy, I thought... with a good family.

    You might think it was enough for him to just have a time of remorse and confession ... but , oddly in the days that followed... everywhere he went I was there.
    I thought it was odd too.

    We were actually standing at a street crossing and he asked me my name.
    I told him... and if ever I saw the look of "conviction"... that was it.
    Apparently his mother and I had the same name. He looked at me resolutely and said " I am gong home... right now!". And he did.

    Somewhere in the remorse, confession, conviction process.. this man found commitment to "will" something different for himself again.

    Why would medical professional ( faith-based or not) want to stop /disengage this challenging process which lies at the heart of rehabilitating a life?

    Delete
  2. sharon5 June, 2009 10:06 AM

    RE: Michael Ignatieff seeing Chalk river as an election issue

    I am actually "apolitical" but I cannot help but ask a question of this man

    Why is everything he says in "APA format" with topics selected from secondary sources?

    He provides the "Abstract" ...and then says " when we actually do it we will all put our heads together and build the content together." ( I guess"we" show up in the endnotes)

    If he follows that (ig)noble Roman tradition his last words may be " Et tu, Brute?" (eh?)

    OR...

    Maybe he has a Greek Socratic hope that he will be the "seer" and we will be the "serfs" growing "his" crop of sage.

    Is he promoting " know thyself...and to thine own self be true"?

    Personally:

    I prefer" Know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" ( which comes from primary source content )

    you know... the "active" versus "reactive" thing :-)

    Delete
  3. sharon5 June, 2009 10:16 AM

    RE: Dad the doctor

    You know there are more stories of this type than any nurse or doctor can count.... and many are hilarious.

    I could tell you a dandy ...... where all of the OB nurses got food poisoning from salmon loaf in the cafeteria........and 3 babies were delivered by one transferred staff from another department... and a student nurse!

    But that is for another day.......

    However, it would be good to have an emergency bell option near the patient ( like the ones normally found in bathrooms where the rapid ring brings everyone running )

    Delete