Pubdate: Fri, 27 May 2011
Source: Vancouver Courier (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Vancouver Courier
Author: Maxine Davis, Executive Director, Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation


To the editor:

Re: "Insite activist threatens 'civil disobedience,'" May 18.

Megan Stewart's article about Insite incorrectly states the Dr. Peter
AIDS Foundation has never applied for a ministerial exemption under
section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The Dr. Peter Centre began providing supervised injection service in
2002, without the exemption, after the College of Registered Nurses of
B.C. confirmed it was within the scope of nursing practice. However,
from Sept. 2003 to June 2006, the foundation believed it had an
exemption as part of its inclusion in the scientific study involving
Insite. Only in 2006 when we, along with Insite, requested an
extension, did we become aware Health Canada documents related to our
initial application had not been signed by the federal Minister of
Health. Subsequently, when Insite received its approval for extension,
the minister declined to add the Dr. Peter Centre.

Also, the statement attributed to me in the article, that the
foundation's West End clinic will remain open, could leave the
misleading impression that we will do so regardless of the outcome of
the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. It was, and is, the
foundation's view that the activities of our registered nurses in
directly observing clients inject themselves are lawful whether or not
the foundation has an exemption. While the court's ruling will be
specifically about Insite, we will need to study it to determine the
relevance to supervised injection service at the Dr. Peter Centre.

Maxine Davis
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.