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What's in the news: Nov. 12 -- Addictions MDs oppose mandatory minimums

Addictions physicians oppose mandatory-minimum sentencing
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, based in Toronto, announced its opposition to Bill C-15, federal legislation that would create mandatory-minimum sentences for drug crimes. "The evidence from the U.S. and other jurisdictions tells us that mandatory minimum sentences are most effective at increasing prison populations and the cost of jailing them," CAMH deputy director Wayne Skinner told a Senate committee. "Reducing the demand for illicit drugs by investing in addiction treatment, including drug treatment courts, have proven to be much more cost effective and successful approaches." [CAMH news release] The bill was passed earlier this year by the House of Commons and is now before the Senate.

Oil-sands whistleblower MD found guilty of ethics charges
The results of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta's investigation, recently leaked to the media, showed Dr John O'Connor, who made international news when he claimed to have found multiple cases of a rare bile-duct cancer in a First Nations community near the oil development sites in Alberta, violated his professional ethics code by refusing to cooperate with the investigation and, moreover, "made a number of inaccurate or untruthful claims with respect to the number of patients with confirmed cancers and the ages of patients dying from cancer." [National Post]

Quebec party's health point-man goes independent
Éric Caire, who was the Quebec ADQ party's health critic before losing a leadership contest by two votes just three weeks ago, has decided to leave the party and sit as an independent. The man who defeated Mr Caire in the leadership race, Gilles Taillon, has already announced he is stepping down and said he would likely contact the Quebec provincial police about suspected financial crimes within the party. This leaves the future uncertain for a party that just a couple of years ago was the official opposition in Quebec City and played a major role in advancing the debate on health-insurance reform in Quebec. "Is it RIP for the ADQ?" asked the Montreal Gazette.

The state of evidence-based medicine
"To enter mainstream use, any... treatment typically needs to clear a high bar. It will be subject to randomized trials, statistical-significance tests, the peer-review process of academic journals and the scrutiny of government regulators," writes journalist David Leonhardt in a new piece on evidence and intuition in medicine. "Yet once a treatment enters the mainstream — once we know whether it works in certain situations — science is largely left behind. The next questions — when to use it and on which patients — become matters of judgment, not measurement." [New York Times Magazine]

eBay's more profitable than medicine
An American FP took time off from her medical practice when she gave birth to twin girls and discovered she could make more money selling clothing on eBay -- $120,000 last year -- than she could working full-time as a doctor. [CNN]

Photo: Shutterstock

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  1. sharonNovember 12, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    Title: Guilty until "proven" Innocent

    RE: Bill C-15

    This touted perspective was here once before.... in the late '50's...early 60's... and many doors were closed for life to those incarcerated under "category linked to sentence".

    For many their crime was youth and underdeveloped capacity for abstract thinking....... toss in some " poor parental supervision" as the " two-wage" lifestyle emerged.
    Now "jailtime" creates a "belonging" of its' own into a new society with a brutal norm.
    The issue may not be "content" ( the crime committed). The issue may be " intent" ( the element for mercy pleas).

    I do not believe that any form of cost containment or expediency should position mankind to forget their true mandate: to perform justice; to show mercy;...and to walk humbly with their God.

    RE: whistleblower M.D. and Eric Caire

    It is perfectly normal for observers to confuse " indignation" with "condemnation".
    If the good doctor , and the politician, birthed their revelations from "indignation" they WILL pursue a path to not just providing proofs..... but facilitating corrections.
    If brave... that road has many bridges and trolls beneath :(

    RE: David Leonhart

    Yoohoo...... emptied your spam lately? Mainstream medicine is rapidly being sidelined by " mainstreet" medicine.

    Hey, I love the investigative, decision-making process and I actively " blueprint' many structural steps ( in case ?anyone? ever wants to actually "reno"vate the building.
    Be happy that you can still understand/apply/teach the scientific bases....... but.......the classroom is empty :(

    RE: eBay doctor

    ...behold the taxman cometh to the "grey" economy..... :(


    Guilty until "proven" innocent is not as effective as 'guilty until "made" innocent'.
    How can we build the " path to innocence"..... certainly not alone :)

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