Pubdate: Sun, 27 Sep 1998
Date: 09/27/1998
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Author: D. L. Harper
Re: Addict needle plan considered," Calgary Herald, Sept. 21.  Mayor Al
Duerr hit the nail on the head when he states  `It's a very complicated
issue, it involves the law - Criminal Code - and health care.'

Dr. John Gill, chief of infectious diseases for the Calgary Regional
Health Authority  says,  `an initiative that offers promise in
controlling an epidemic shouldn't be discarded because it's a paradigm
buster.  The program is clearly focused on trying to stop the
transmittal of blood-borne pathogens. It's novel, it's innovative and
it's being developed in the apparent failure of existing programs. One
doesn't know if it will work, but let's see. If they get going
properly (Vancouver), then maybe we will need it here."

Insp. Jim Hornby of the Calgary police states, `It's a Catch 22. It's
like setting up brothels for prostitution - we're condoning something
that is against the law. There may be health benefits (from the
program), but injecting heroin is against the law.'

Against the law? We are supposed to just accept this law at face
value? Dr. Gill gives us an honest directive. What does Insp. Hornby
gives us?

I am one parent who thanks Dr. Gill for his foresight on this issue. I
try to use foresight to raise my children. If my young daughter grows
into a troubled teen and prostitutes herself, maybe I would sleep a
little better knowing she was in a clean, safe environment and not,
God forbid, shackled away in some basement room under a pizza store.

D. L. Harper