28 May 2008

A Triumph for Reason and Sanity Over Conservative Ideology

The Harper government's efforts to force ideology to trump not only science, but good social and public health policy were squashed yesterday, with the BC Supreme Court's ruling in favour of Insite. It is nice to see a judge with such, well, insight:
“While there is nothing to be said in favour of the injection of controlled substances that leads to addiction, there is much to be said against denying health care services that will ameliorate the effects of their condition,” said Judge Pitfield in his landmark, 59-page decision.

He rejected arguments from the federal lawyers that drug use was a matter of individual choice and it was up to the government whether addicts at Insite should be immune from prosecution. “Society cannot condone addiction, but in the face of its presence, it cannot fail to manage it, hopefully with ultimate success reflected in the cure of the addicted individual and abstinence,” Judge Pitfield said. “Simply stated, I cannot agree with Canada's submission that an addict must feed his addiction in an unsafe environment when a safe environment that may lead to rehabilitation is the alternative.”
After having witnessed cases of a policing and court system that has, in some cases, run amok and wreaked havoc on lives that need mental health support rather than systemic abuse, this is a refreshing and hopeful outcome.

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