Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jun 2008
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2008, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Perry Kendall


In response to Health Minister Tony Clement's response (Do No Harm,
Right? - letter, June 5) to Gabor Mate's column (To Help, Or At Least
Do Harm - June 4) in which he questioned Dr. Mate's choice of
analogies for Insite's functions, I would like to draw the minister's
attention to the finding by Mr. Justice Ian Pitfield of the B.C.
Supreme Court. The judge came to the "incontrovertible conclusion"
that "the risk of morbidity and mortality associated with addiction
and injection can be ameliorated by injection in the presence of
qualified health professionals." I see nothing in that statement or
the published literature that would support a contention that
supporting Insite, Vancouver's safe-injection facility, is either
hypocritical or advocating for the promotion of harm.

Perry Kendall

Provincial health officer for B.C.