Monday, September 08, 2008

Liz Evans responds to Clement's remarks to the CMA

Liz Evans of PHS writes to the Ottawa Citizen about Insite:

The facts are in about Insite
The Ottawa Citizen Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the Canadian public he would make a decision about Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site, after all the research is in.

The research is in and indicates Insite saves lives, saves tax dollars, reduces public disorder, deters drug use, has not attracted new drug users and helps users of the site find detox and treatment options. Insite has taken one million injections out of our back alleys, and no one has died.

For Health Minister Tony Clement to question the moral judgment of health professionals who support Insite ignores millions of dollars' worth of research and evaluation.

Peer-reviewed, non-partisan researchers, unbiased medical professionals and the people who make use of Insite all tell the same story: supervised injection sites work. They reduce deaths from overdoses, giving users another day to seek treatment; they help keep needles off the streets; they help prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases associated with drug use.

Mr. Harper and his health minister are using fear in an attempt to cloud the facts. Mr. Harper, we at Insite again extend to you, or any member of your government, the opportunity to see our facility and the work that is done here, so you can understand the importance of our work.

The reality is: Insite provides one piece of the complex puzzle needed to help some Canadians overcome drug addiction. To be rehashing the same old arguments against harm reduction is depressingly immoral and unethical. What Canada needs is a real comprehensive strategy to address drug addiction.

Liz Evans,

Vancouver nurse and Executive Director of the PHS Community Services Society which operates InSite.


**Update**

For clarity, here is a similar letter that was published in the National Post:

Insite criticism based on ideology, not science


National Post Published: Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stephen Harper said he would make a decision about Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site, after all the research was in.

The research is in and it shows that Insite saves lives, saves tax dollars, reduces public disorder, acts as a deterrent to drug use and helps users of the site find detox and treatment options. Because of this evidence, 80% of health professionals support Insite. Why, then, is Mr. Harper's Federal Health Minister calling this support for Insite "unethical"?

Mr. Harper and his Health Minister are using fear in an attempt to cloud the facts. The people Tony Clement calls junkies and who he thinks should be jailed are our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Ask any mother whose child survived addiction because of Insite and they will tell you about the importance of this facility.

The reality is that Insite provides one piece of the complex puzzle needed to help some Canadians overcome drug addiction. To be rehashing the same old arguments against harm-reduction is depressingly immoral and unethical. What Canada needs is a comprehensive strategy to address drug addiction.

Liz Evans (executive director of the PHS Community Services Society which operates Insite), Vancouver.
© National Post 2008

6 comments:

HerToesInTheSand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Thanks for pointing that out Toes. I went back and corrected my omission: the link to the letter at the Citizen site that does, in fact, include the title "nurse". Liz Evans is educated as a nurse, but whether her registration is up to date is unknown (and none of my business really).

It is quite possible that the newspaper appended the title only knowing her background not current registration status in which case you are right. However, this is how it was published.

I rarely edit quoted articles on this site and when I do I change colour &/or font and add brackets to make it very clear that I am adding or editing.

Cheers, Jen

HerToesInTheSand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Well, all that work and she's gone. Oh well, if you are out there toes, here's the letter you saw. Note that it's not the same as the one posted here. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Cheers, Jen

HerToesInTheSand said...

Jen, thanks for clarifying. I'm a feed-ee, so I'm reading and appreciating your support!

I apologize if it seemed that my comments were an issue with you personally, the issue touches a nerve with the Nursing staff whom, due to employer policies, are made invisible and so often get left out.

Keep up the good work, and if you're ever interested www.vch.ca/careers usually has some postings!

Jen said...

I've looked back at your comments (I still have them) I didn't think your comments were a personal criticism at all Toes. You made a good point and I clarified. I also forgot the link and was able to add it. So, thanks.

Jen