Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Testing New System

Untitled from David Berner on Vimeo.

At the Heart of THE BIG LIE

As reported here yesterday, a noxious fog has descended upon us.

Your governments will spend many millions of dollars giving 300+ heroin addicts free heroin and heroin pill substitutes over the next four years.

The mad fools behind this wasteful, destructive scheme are all honorable men and women, leaders in our community.

They bring to mind Hannah Arendt's famous dictum about "the banality of evil."

These are some of the people who sit on the board of the strangely named InnerChange Foundation:

Richard Mulcaster.

I know Richard and I like him.

I had lunch with him last year to discuss this very matter.

Richard was for many years the President and CEO of the Vancouver Foundation, for whom he did a wonderful job.

When he left, he told me that he would probably do some international charity work for CEDA.

Instead, he surfaced with this job.

Knowing my staunch and unchanging opposition to horrible bad ideas like this one, he invited me to talk about it over some good food at a favorite local eatery.

As always, he was good company. He's a good man.

But he is mistaken.

He is wrong about this endeavour and although I asked him, "WHY?" he could never really tell me why an otherwise reasonable person would champion such nonsense.

He sang the praises of the German psychiatrist who is at the core of this "experiment."

Dr Michael Krausz, MD, PhD, FRCPC

  • UBC/Providence Health Care Leadership Chair in Addiction Research Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS) St.Paul's Hospital
  • Founding Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health at UBC
  • Member of the Brain Research Centre at UBC
  • Member of the Research Advisory Council of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
  • Member of the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse (CCSA) of the Vancouver Foundation
  • Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (WIF)

Dr. Krausz started his professional carrier as a nurse in adolescent psychiatry working especially with young psychotic clients. After Medical School in Hamburg the H. Böckler Foundation awarded him a doctoral grant. He wrote his thesis on long-term course of schizophrenia starting in adolescence. In 1985 he started his residency in Adult Psychiatry until 1991. Parallel he wrote his PhD on "Psychosis and Addiction" evaluating the entanglement of severe mental illness and harmful use of psychotropic substances, which then became the major research focus of his further work. He became then responsible for big studies about mental illness among intravenous drug users with over 1000 individuals and especially the German Heroin trial as biggest randomized clinical trial in Addiction Research in Europe in this field. He could show, that it is possible to improve the most difficult to treat clients with the appropriate intervention and contributed to an important paradigm shift through clinical research. He founded and edited two scientific journals, which until now have a mayor impact in this area: European Addiction Research and Suchttherapie. 240 publications and even more invited presentations standing for his scientific contributions until now. After over 20 years in different positions in Germany he was selected as the first Providence BC Leadership Chair for Addiction Research in 2005.

As you can see, Dr. Krausz has made himself a world authority on the subject of addictions.

I have only one question for the good doctor.

How many addicts have you helped become clean and sober, sir?

I have helped thousands and so have my friends and colleagues in the rehab business.

But oh.

I'm sorry. I forgot.

You're not in the people helping business.

You're in the scientific research business.

The nutty research business.

The business that pays no mind to the dreadful harming consequences of your arcane research.

Here are two more doctors at the heart of InnerChanges:

Dr. John Blatherwick

Dr. John Blatherwick is currently retiring as the Chief Medical Health Officer of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. He has been the Medical Health Officer in Vancouver since 1984. Prior to this he was the Medical Health Officer in the Simon Fraser Health Unit for nine years.
Dr. Blatherwick was awarded the Order of Canada in 1994 for his work in public health and received an award as a Canadian Health Hero from the Pan American Health Organization in 2002. He was also the recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

Dr. Perry Kendall

Dr. Kendall is the Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia. He has pioneered programs for Harm Reduction, AIDS/HIV and drug abuse prevention in British Columbia and Ontario. He helped to form the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, and the Addiction and Mental Health Services Corporation.

In 1991 he was recognized for leadership in substance abuse prevention in Ontario and received an Addiction Research Foundation Community Achievement Award. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia for his contributions to Public Health practice and to harm reduction policy and practice in British Columbia.

Isn't the phrase "first do no harm" a central part of the Hippocratic Oath...

No, it isn't, but over the years we have all come to believe that this is a core dedication for doctors.

Explain then how these two good men and imminent physicians can want to give drugs to drug addicts and still sleep at night?

Why aren't they joining the good fight to help addicts NOT use more drugs?

"And how dare I question or challenge these honorable men?"you ask.

Because I have done the work and, in spite of all their awards and citations, they have not.

I know next to nothing about the flow and composition of blood in the human body, as they know next to nothing about addictions.

The sooner they re-focus on the practice of medicine and leave the addictions work to people who understand it, the better off the whole community will be.

And finally, bringing up the rear of InnerChanges, where he belongs is:

Hon. John Reynolds, P.C.

Mr. Reynolds started his political career in 1972, when he was elected a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for the British Columbia riding of Burnaby-Richmond-Delta. He was also elected to the BC Provincial Legislature, and served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and as Minister of Environment. He returned to the House of Commons as a Reform Party Member and served as Opposition House Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition. He co-chaired the national Conservative Party campaign in the 2006 federal election. He is currently a Senior Strategic Advisor to Lang Michener, a law firm in Vancouver.

All back room, all cloak-and-dagger, all out-of-sight string pulling.


So write and email your MLA and your MP and your City Council member and point out that we are all mad, that we are throwing good money after bad to further enslave and entrap people who are already caught in the web, that we need to get more bang for our buck by funding REAL TREATMENT THAT WORKS.

That there is an officially sanctioned evil amongst us and it should be discredited at every possible turn.

There is no surer example in our culture today that I can think of that so clearly demonstrates how far off the rails we have fallen.

Wash Cycle

Torture issue Afghan problem, not Canadian: PM

It's fascinating to observe on a regular basis how Stephen Harper makes it so hard for us to like him.

I'm sure he would point out that his job is running the afairs of the country and not winning popularity contests.


Here is his cheapest shot of all:

“The allegations are not being made – I hope – against Canadian soldiers.”

No, Mr. Prime Minister and you know very well that Canadian soldiers were never at question here.

It is the policy makers and leaders who are under fire for violating Geneva Conventions on the handling of detainees and prisoners.

To pretend that anyone was blaming soldiers on the front is specious at best and creepily manipulative at worst.

Get a new spin machine, please.