REALity  Volume XXXV  Issue No. 12 December 2016

Family physicians in Canada are a crucial part of our health care system. They diagnose, refer and prescribe on a daily basis.  They serve to heal their patients, not just physically, but provide emotional support as well.

Family physicians often carry out their compassionate care with relatively small financial reward. But their presence is absolutely essential for the well-being of Canadians.

Dr. Philpott, a Family Physician

Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, is a family physician. She both practised and taught family medicine prior to her election to Parliament for the Ontario Markham-Stouffville riding.  She was unexpectedly appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be the Minister of Health.

However, as Minister of Health, Dr. Philpott is operating totally out of her league. To put it bluntly, she is not particularly astute, and is devoid of the essential requirement of Ministers of the Crown, which is to apply a critical analysis to issues.  The Minister of Health determines health policies.  However, Dr. Philpott accepts policies handed to her by the inexperienced, uninformed political colleagues in the Prime Minister’s Office.  Essentially, her role should be to protect the public’s health, not endanger it, which she is doing regularly by pleasantly accepting the policies assigned to her by others.  Because of her incompetence, she is one of the most dangerous women in Canada.

Although Dr. Philpott has held her position for just a year, one cringes at her statements and actions on some of the critical issues which her ministry manages. These include:

         1 . Physician Assisted Suicide

Although claiming to protect the vulnerable, the physician assisted suicide legislation, passed in June 2016, is a disgrace. Just two compliant physicians are required to sign the death warrant, and just one individual is required to witness the patient’s signature.  There is no need to determine whether the signature was obtained voluntarily.  The death bell will toll endlessly for helpless patients for years to come.

Physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others, who object to performing the terrible act of deliberately killing another, have little protection from participating in assisted suicide for religious or conscience reasons.

Palliative care for the sick and dying as an alternative to physician assisted dying is not high on Dr. Philpott’s agenda.

         2 .  The Legalization of Marijuana

The Department of Health website lists the frightening consequences of marijuana use. These include: fetal defects, impairment of concentration and the ability to think and make decisions, impairment of the nervous system, impairment of reaction time and co-ordination, and increasing anxiety and panic attacks, to name but a few of the many harmful effects of marijuana.  Philpott is ignoring the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) which has sounded the alarm about the harms of marijuana and has requested that the drug be prohibited at least for those under 21 years.  Instead, Dr. Philpott happily announced at the UN meeting on drugs, held in New York City in April, 2016 (marijuana is one of the drugs prohibited by UN treaties, which Canada has ratified) that Canada will be legalizing the drug in 2017.  When advised of the complications experienced in Colorado since marijuana was legalized there, such as increased traffic accidents, increase of adolescent use of marijuana, increased hospitalization and other medical costs because of marijuana use, Dr. Philpott dismissed these concerns, stating she didn’t believe them!  One would think that, as the Minister of Health, she would have the intellectual and moral competence to at least have these statistics reviewed.  Instead, Dr. Philpott doesn’t want the facts to interfere with her government’s policy.

   3 . The Blood Transfusion Service

The safety of Canada’s blood transfusion service should also be a major concern for a health minister. However, Dr. Philpott has bowed to pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office and the LGBT Community to reduce the abstinence periods for blood donations from homosexuals to only one year, with the expectation that donations will soon be determined “safe” based on behaviour rather than sexual orientation.  Perhaps it has not yet occurred to Dr. Philpott that it is homosexual behaviour, i.e. men having sex with men that is contaminating the blood supply system with HIV/AIDS.

        4 . Drug Injection Sites

There has been an overwhelming increase in drug overdose deaths by the drug fentanyl, caused not just by prescription, but also from the contamination by fentanyl and other drugs bought by drug addicts from drug traffickers. These are then carried into the Vancouver drug injection site; 86% of the illicit drugs brought into the Vancouver drug injection site were contaminated with illicit fentanyl.  However, Dr. Philpott has a different idea about this problem, stating on the CBC, that drug injection sites “can save countless lives”.  Instead of putting a stop to deaths by drug overdose, Dr. Philpott is facilitating them by increasing the number of drug injection sites across Canada. Treatment of drug addicts is apparently not on Dr. Philpott’s agenda either.

It would save many lives if Dr. Philpott could be transferred to another, less important portfolio, where her incompetence would not be endangering the lives of Canadians.

Related articles:

Brief by REAL Women of Canada on Bill C-45
An Act Respecting Cannabis and to Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts Download here