Canadian Parliament Has Hearings On Veteran Allegedly Offered Assisted Suicide

In August 2022, a scandal broke where it was claimed that Veterans Affairs Canada had offered medical assistance in dying (MAiD, or euthanasia), to a veteran that called in with PTSD. Understandably, this caused quite the uproar.

What makes this worse is that it apparently wasn’t just a one-time event. There are several cases that have now been reported.

Now, hearings are going on in Parliament about the issue. However, the response isn’t really one that would satisfy most people. It seems that the Government doesn’t ideologically object to members of the Canadian Forces taking their lives. Instead, it shouldn’t be offered.

If there are technical details about it (such as pensions and benefits), then that’s okay to address.

From the hearings and the transcripts provided, this doesn’t appear taken out of context.


(Time approx 16:01 in video). The hearing is interesting as the only issue seems to be with Veterans’ Affairs suggesting assisted suicide in the first place. If this topic is brought up, it’s to be referred to a supervisor.


(From 17:16 in the same video). While this may be well intentioned, it comes across as rather cold. “Talk to your doctor” seems to be a poor way to treat people (veterans) who are seriously considering this option.

It’s unclear when the Committee will eventually release their report, or even what would be contained in it. But these were all-party meetings.

With the expansion of assisted suicide in Canada, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it would be offered to members of the armed forces. This was never intended to be limited to people suffering with terminal illnesses.

Members of the Committee:

  • Sean Casey (LPC)
  • Emmanuel Dubourg (LPC)
  • Wilson Miao (LPC)
  • Churence Rogers (LPC)
  • Darrell Samson (LPC)
  • Rechie Valdez (LPC)
  • Terry Dowdall (CPC)
  • Blake Richards (CPC)
  • Fraser Tolmie (CPC)
  • Cathay Wagantall (CPC)
  • Luc Desilets (BQ)
  • Rachel Blaney (NDP)

Is this okay as long as Veterans Affairs doesn’t bring it up? It’s explained that the department has no authority on this topic. Fine, but isn’t looking after vulnerable people (both physically and mentally vulnerable) a role that the organization is supposed to do?

How is this considered health care?
Or looking after veterans?

(1) https://americanmilitarynews.com/2022/08/canadas-veterans-affairs-offers-assisted-suicide-to-veteran-with-ptsd/
(2) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-maid-rcmp-investigation-1.6663885
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/ACVA/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=11850743
(4) https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/ACVA/meeting-22/minutes
(5) https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/ACVA/meeting-22/evidence
(6) https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20221020/-1/37828?gefdesc=&startposition=20221020160031
(7) https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/ACVA/meeting-23/evidence

Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Assisted Suicide Requests

Remember how people were warning that assisted suicide (medical assistance in dying or MAiD) wouldn’t be the limited measure that was initially laid out? Those alarmists worried that safeguards and conditions would be rolled back to further expand this “procedure”.

Well, here we go again. Senate Bill S-248 would allow people to enter into contracts that would permit the euthanasia, even if the person isn’t capable of giving that final consent.

Supporters of MAiD had always claimed that the patient would always have the option to change their mind, and to back out. This would allow for contemplation, and for cooler heads to prevail.

From the description of the Bill:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to
.
(a) permit an individual whose death is not reasonably foreseeable to enter into a written arrangement to receive medical assistance in dying on a specified day if they lose the capacity to consent to receiving medical assistance in dying prior to that day; and
.
(b) permit an individual who has been diagnosed with a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability to make a written declaration to waive the requirement for final consent when receiving medical assistance in dying if they lose the capacity to consent to receive medical assistance in dying, are suffering from symptoms outlined in the written declaration and have met all other relevant safeguards outlined in the Criminal Code.

Of course, the usual questions will come up. Did the person fully understand and support this decision? Was their undue influence? Did they ever change their mind? How do we determine whether or not they are capable of giving that final go-ahead?

There is still a provision that the person can speak or gesture to indicate that they no longer wish to go through with this. However, if they are incapacitated, that obviously won’t help.

This Bill was brought by Pamela Wallin. A decade ago, she became infamous for playing fast and loose with her expenses and got suspended, along with Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau.

In her capacity as a Senator, Wallin has had some interesting visitors recently.

Wallin brought this Bill on June 2, 2022. The day before, the Alzheimer Society of Canada had paid a visit. Among the topics listed in their lobbying profiled was: “Parliamentary review of medical assistance in dying with respect to advance requests”. In other words, go ahead, even if final consent can’t be obtained.

Field Trip Psychedelics Inc. has also been in touch with Wallin. This was concering the: “regulation of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy that would give Canadians access to medical, non-recreational, psilocybin therapy.”

The Canadian Palliative Hospice Care Assocation also has contacted Wallin. Although their profile does mention end of life care, it doesn’t specify assisted suicide.

In any event, these are probably just coincidences, right?

Shouldn’t be any surprise that Wallin brought this Bill. But seriously, how far back do we keep pushing the line, or is there a limit?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/s-248
(2) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/S-248/first-reading
(3) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-moving-to-suspend-pamela-wallin-mike-duffy-1.2101305
(4) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=533156
(5) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=367664&regId=905218&blnk=1
(6) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=533156
(7) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=14475&regId=923718&blnk=1
(8) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=523500
(9) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=15059&regId=917004&blnk=1

Parliament’s Guidelines On Euthanizing The Mentally Ill

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), a.k.a. euthanasia or assisted suicide, had been touted as proponents as having an extremely limited scope. In other words, it would be available to people with terminal illnesses, who were otherwise living in extreme pain.

Bill C-14 was supposed to be limited to terminal cases. In the next session, Bill C-7 increased the eligibility options. Suddenly, even people with serious mental illnesses were able to obtain euthanasia, provided the mental problem wasn’t the sole reason.

And now, we reach the point where people whose SOLE problem is a mental illness can be put down with the help of so-called medical professionals. The people pushing the slippery slope argument have been proven correct once again.

An interim report was released in June 2022, and it’s widely expected that expanding the scope will become law very soon.

MAID PRACTICE STANDARDS

Recommendation 1: Development of MAiD practice standards
The federal, provincial and territorial governments should facilitate the collaboration of physician and nurse regulatory bodies in the development of Standards of Practice for physicians and nurse practitioners for the assessment of MAiD requests in situations that raise questions about incurability, irreversibility, capacity, suicidality, and the impact of structural vulnerabilities. These standards should elaborate upon the subject matter of recommendations 2–13.

INTERPRETING GRIEVOUS AND IRREMEDIABLE MEDICAL CONDITION

Recommendation 2: Establishing incurability
MAiD assessors should establish incurability with reference to treatment attempts made up to that point, outcomes of those treatments, and severity and duration of illness, disease or disability. It is not possible to provide fixed rules for how many treatment attempts, how many kinds of treatments, and over what period of time as this will vary according to the nature and severity of medical conditions the person has and their overall health status. This must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Panel is of the view that the requester and assessors must come to a shared understanding that the person has a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability. As with many chronic conditions, the incurability of a mental disorder cannot be established in the absence of multiple attempts at interventions with therapeutic aims.

Recommendation 3: Establishing irreversibility
MAiD assessors should establish irreversibility with reference to interventions tried that are designed to improve function, including: recognized rehabilitative and supportive measures that have been tried up to that point, outcomes of those interventions, and the duration of decline. It is not possible to provide fixed rules for how many attempts at interventions, how many types of interventions, and over how much time, as this will vary according to a requester’s baseline function as well as life goals. Therefore, this must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Panel is of the view that the requester and assessors must come to a shared understanding that the person is in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability.

Recommendation 4: Understanding enduring and Intolerable suffering
MAiD assessors should come to an understanding with the requester that the illness, disease or disability or functional decline causes the requester enduring and intolerable physical or psychological suffering.

VULNERABILITIES

Recommendation 5: Comprehensive capacity assessments
MAiD assessors should undertake thorough and, where appropriate, serial assessments of a requester’s decision-making capacity in accordance with clinical standards and legal criteria. These assessments should be consistent with approaches laid out in standardized capacity evaluation tools.

Recommendation 6: Means available to relieve suffering
To ensure all requesters have access to the fullest possible range of social supports which could potentially contribute to reducing suffering, the Panel recommends that ’community services’ in Track 2 Safeguard 241.2(3.1)(g) should be interpreted as including housing and income supports as means available to relieve suffering and should be offered to MAiD requesters, where appropriate.

Recommendation 7: Interpretation of track 2 safeguard 241.2(3.1)(h) the person has given serious consideration to those means
Serious consideration should be interpreted to mean genuine openness to the means available to relieve suffering and how they could make a difference in the person’s life.

Recommendation 8: Consistency, durability, and well-considered nature of a maid request
Assessors should ensure that the requester’s wish for death is consistent with the person’s values and beliefs, unambiguous and rationally considered during a period of stability, not during a period of crisis.

Recommendation 9: Situations of involuntariness
Persons in situations of involuntariness for periods shorter than six months should be assessed following this period to minimize the potential contribution of the involuntariness on the request for MAiD. For those who are repeatedly or continuously in situations of involuntariness, (e.g., six months or longer, or repeated periods of less than six months), the institutions responsible for the person should ensure that assessments for MAiD are performed by assessors who do not work within or are associated with the institution.

ASSESSMENT PROCESS

Recommendation 10: Independent assessor with expertise
The requester should be assessed by at least one assessor with expertise in the condition(s). In cases involving MAiD MD-SUMC, the assessor with expertise in the condition should be a psychiatrist independent from the treating team/provider. Assessors with expertise in the person’s condition(s) should review the diagnosis, and ensure the requester is aware of all reasonable options for treatment and has given them serious consideration.

Recommendation 11: Involvement of other healthcare professionals
Assessors should involve medical subspecialists and other healthcare professionals for consultations and additional expertise where necessary.

Recommendation 12: Discussion with treating team and collateral information
• If the requester’s primary healthcare provider is not one of the assessors, assessors should obtain input from that person. When the requester’s clinical care is shared by members of a multidisciplinary healthcare team, assessors should solicit their input as well.
• With a requester’s consent, assessors and providers shall obtain collateral information relevant to eligibility and capacity assessment. This should include reviewing medical records, prior MAiD assessments, and discussions with family members or significant others. Care must be taken to determine that obtaining collateral information will not be harmful to the requester.

Recommendation 13: Challenging interpersonal dynamics
Assessors and providers should be self-reflective and examine their reactions to those they assess. If their reactions compromise their ability to carry out the assessment in accordance with professional norms, they should seek supervision from mentors and colleagues, and/or discontinue involvement in the assessment process. The practitioner should adhere to any local policies concerning withdrawal from a MAiD assessment and onward referral.

IMPLEMENTATION

Recommendation 14: Consultations with first nations, inuit and métis peoples
Consultation between health regulatory bodies in each province and territory with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples must aim to create practice standards with respect to MAiD MD-SUMC, and MAiD more generally, that incorporate Indigenous perspectives and are relevant to their communities.

Recommendation 15: Training of assessors and providers in specialized topics
To support consistent application of the law and to ensure high quality and culturally sensitive care, assessors and providers should participate in training opportunities that address topics of particular salience to MAiD MD-SUMC. These include, but are not limited to: capacity assessment, trauma-informed care and cultural safety.

Recommendation 16: Prospective oversight
Given its concurrent jurisdiction in relation to MAiD, the federal government should play an active role in supporting the development of a model of prospective oversight for all or some Track 2 cases that could be adapted by provinces and territories.

Recommendation 17: Case-based quality assurance and education
The federal government should play an active role in supporting the development of provincial/territorial systems of MAiD case review for educational and quality improvement purposes.

Recommendation 18: Modifications to data collection under the federal maid monitoring system
Data related to specific topics (eligibility, supported decision-making, means available to relieve suffering, refusal of means available, and residence and legal status) should be collected in the MAiD monitoring system in addition to data already collected under the 2018 Regulations. These data can be used to assess whether key areas of concern raised about MAiD MD-SUMC and complex Track 2 cases discussed in this report are being addressed by the clinical practices recommended.

Recommendation 19: Periodic, federally funded research
The federal government should fund both targeted and investigator-initiated periodic research on questions relating to the practice of MAiD (including but not only MAiD MD-SUMC).

If nothing else, Recommendation #8 points out that this should only be an option during a period of stability, and not during a crisis.

Keep in mind, this is only an interim report. There’s nothing to suggest this won’t be expanded on at some later point.

Since its inception, the rates of people receiving assistance in suicide has increased year over year. This will surely raise those numbers even more.

(1) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/Work
(2) https://parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/AMAD/report-1/
(3) https://parl.ca/Content/Committee/441/AMAD/Reports/RP11896958/amadrp01/amadrp01-e.pdf
(4) https://canucklaw.ca/canadas-bill-c-14-assisted-suicide/
(5) https://canucklaw.ca/euthanasia-3-bill-c-7-to-expand-scope-of-assisted-suicide/
(6) https://canucklaw.ca/recent-statistics-on-euthanasia-assisted-suicide-in-canada/

Recent Statistics On Euthanasia (Assisted Suicide) In Canada

Some statistics are available for the totals of assisted suicide, a.k.a. euthanasia. Nearly 20,000 people have been put down, according to data from StatsCan. It will be interesting to see if there is a major spike in 2021, given harsher lockdown measures and vaccine passports.

Given the prolonged (and intentional) infliction of mental, emotional and financial harms, how many otherwise normal and healthy people have been driven to the point where this is seriously contemplated as an option?

YEAR CARRIED OUT
2017 2,838
2018 4,478
2019 5,425
2020 7,383

It’s interesting that this is pushed so heavily by liberals, who pretend to be adamantly in favour of protecting the rights of vulnerable people. There’s considerable overlap with supporting abortion, and the LGBTQ agenda. These are all things that have the effect of driving down the population.

In 2020, this increased to 7,383 deaths (2.4% of all deaths in Canada), representing a 36.0% increase in the number of MAID recipients from 2019 to 2020. As for the reasons Canadians are supposedly seeking early death, these are listed:

PERCENTAGE REASON SOUGHT
67.5% Cancer
12.4% Cardiovascular
11.2% Chronic Respiratory

There’s also some data for people who’ve changed their minds. The numbers don’t add up to 100%, as many checked off more than 1 reason.

PERCENTAGE REASONS SOUGHT
66.4% Changed Their Mind
47.8% Palliative Measures Are Sufficient
12.1% Family Members Don’t Support MAiD
1.3% Unknown Reason

In 2020, approximately 2.5% of people who previously applied for euthanasia changed their minds. It’s worth pointing out that withdrawal (of consent) immediately before MAID was 22.0%, or nearly a quarter of those.

It gets worse. New changes are expected to take place in 2023 which will allow mentally ill people to be euthanized (even if that was their only condition).

If a mental illness is the only medical condition leading you to consider MAID, you are not eligible to seek MAID at this time. Under the new changes made to the law, the exclusion will remain in effect until March 17, 2023.

This temporary exclusion provides the Government of Canada and health professional bodies more time to consider how MAID can be provided safely to those whose only medical condition is a mental illness.

To support this work, the government initiated an expert review to provide recommendations on protocols, guidance and safeguards for those with a mental illness seeking MAID.

After March 17, 2023, people with a mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition will have access to MAID if they meet all of the eligibility requirements and the practitioners fulfill the safeguards that are put in place for this group of people.

If you have a mental illness along with other medical conditions, you may be eligible to seek MAID.

Eligibility is always assessed on an individual basis, taking into account all of the relevant circumstances. However, you must meet all the criteria to be eligible for medical assistance in dying.

In other words, it will soon be legal to euthanize people SOLELY for having mental illnesses. People who have them can still receive MAiD today, as long as there is additionally some other condition that qualifies.

Of course, this raises all sorts of other issues, such as exploitation and informed consent. Who will really be making these decisions?

(1) https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220110/dq220110d-eng.htm
(2) https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying-annual-report-2019.html
(3) https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying/annual-report-2020.html
(4) https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/daily-quotidien/220110/dq220110d-eng.pdf?st=okhC30sr
(5) https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying.html

Naheed Dosani, Mandatory Vaccines, PEACH, End Of Life, Care For The Homeless

The above tweets are quite chilling. Here, we have someone who is angry that Doug Ford announced that proof of vaccination will end in January. The rationale is that if unless people are pressured to get it, they will just “wait it out”. This attitude is sick and twisted, yet people like this are allowed to care for vulnerable patients.

This isn’t a one-off from someone showing poor judgement. Nor is it some troll being a twit online just for kicks. This man is treated as a medical expert by the establishment.

If a person repeatedly posted comments about pedophilia, would you let them near your children? Of course not. Then why is someone who frequently writes in favour of forced medical procedures allowed such a power as a doctor?

Another day, another look at a doctor on the media circuit. This time, it’s McMaster University Professor, Naheed Dosani. Any time an “expert” is all over the news, pushing vaccines and public health measures, it’s worthwhile to do a bit of digging. Dosani is quite obviously on board with the “pandemic” agenda. Dosani’s Twitter feed is full of social justice issues, mocking the “anti-vaxxers” and retweeting people being called racists.

There is a lot of these comments in Dosani’s feed, and it’s downright creepy how readily he wants to impose his will on others. He seems to have no real respect for bodily autonomy.

Regarding some of these tweets, Dosani employs a common tactic: he’s gaslighting people by claiming if they “wait for the mandates to end, it undermines efforts to force injections”. While true, it undermines the validity that these are even necessary.

We obviously can’t have people shopping around for a less harmful “vaccine”. Things like blood clots, leaking capilaries, Bell’s Palsy, or heart inflammation aren’t that serious anyway.

Dosani received a Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General for his work with (PEACH), Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH). Apparently this was a model to be replicated in other cities around the world.

On its own, Dosani’s work with homeless and vulnerable people seems quite noble and admirable. However, given his obsession with pushing these experimental concoctions, it’s fair to ask whether he will be pushing them on those groups he claims to want to help? Will these lead to pressuring people into accepting them? Given his animosity towards people trying to exercise free will, one has to wonder how he behaves with his own patients.

This person has also called for UBI, or a universal basic income, to be implemented. He says that in the long run it’s much cheaper for everyone. Kwame McKenzie of the Ontario Science Table, previously was the research chair for the 2017 Ontario pilot project. Strange, if this is just a coincidence.

Dosani received his MD at McMaster University in Hamilton, and he’s listed as an Assistant Clinical Professor there. This university has received substantial amounts of money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in recent years.

Kashif Pirzada is another pro-lockdown, pro-vaccine personality who’s frequently on the news. He’s also a Faculty Member at McMaster, and more information about the school is available. A quick tidbit: McMaster’s endowment fund is managed by Blackrock.

In July 2021, Dosani co-authored an opinion piece in the Toronto Star, calling for the mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers. In the article, they comment that workers can use paid sick days to take time off work to recover from the side effects.

Of course, this should not detract in any way from the often repeated talking points that these vaccines are safe and effective. Remember, the correct vaccine for you is the one you’re offered first.

Many health workers may not be aware that they can use paid sick days (called the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit) to take time off to recover from vaccine side effects. Unfortunately, only three days are available. This means that if a health worker had already taken time off to go get a COVID test, or to look after a family member with COVID-19, they would have no sick days left.

The piece was cloaked in a plea for compassion for marginalized people, and had the same usual social justice talking points. What was noteworthy was that one of the co-authors was Sabina Vohra-Miller. She and her husband, Craig Miller, started the Vohra-Miller Foundation. More background information on them is available here.

The Institute for Pandemics, which opened in August 2020 at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, is working to strengthen co-ordination, communication and collaboration between science and government—an approach rooted in evidence-based policies that will support quicker responses to future pandemics.
.
The Vohra Miller Foundation’s investment to launch the Institute for Pandemics was just the start of its extraordinary new partnership with the University. In February 2021, the couple once again made history—for the University of Toronto and for public health in Canada—with a $5-million commitment to help create First Exposure, an innovative new research network and information hub for maternal, reproductive and child health also housed at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

The Vohra-Miller Foundation was a major financier of the “Institute for Pandemics“, run by the Ontario Science Table, at the Dalla Lana School for Public Health, at the University of Toronto. Dosani himself received training at UofT. His profile still lists him as a lecturer there. Certainly an interesting connection that they know each other.

He was part of a group of researchers that received nearly $1 million from the CIHR on behalf of the University of Victoria to study homelessness, life limiting illness, and vulnerable populations.

Dosani appeared before the Canadian Senate on Bill C-7, to expand MAiD, or medical assistance in dying. He spoke out how many people who consider this only do so since they face many other problems in their lives. It was quite the compelling piece to watch. Of course, will he view that certain medications are needed to maintain a certain quality of life?

Journey Home Hospice, an end-of-life centre for people who are homeless, opened up in 2018, due largely to Dosani’s efforts. PEACH was also founded in 2014 by Dosani.

Bit of a side note: until recently, Dosani was a physician at the William Osler Health system. This place previously challenged the VOM or “vaccinate-or-mask” policies. This is basically the opposite of what Dosani supports. Of course, this was in the days when the Ontario Nurses’ Association actually stood up for its members.

Dosani’s work with homeless people is something (by itself) to commend. However, given his attitude towards mandatory injections, and his connections, where exactly is this heading? Considering that he supports coercing people into taking experimental drugs, does he really have humanity’s best interests at heart?

(1) https://twitter.com/NaheedD/status/1404545461621604360
(2) https://twitter.com/NaheedD/status/1456241478313955330
(3) https://twitter.com/NaheedD/status/1452619441406189571
(4) https://www.gg.ca/en/honours/recipients/136-53077
(5) https://globalnews.ca/video/7502145/poverty-is-expensive-toronto-doctor-says-universal-basic-income-actually-costs-society-less
(6) Toronto doctor says universal basic income actually costs society less
(7) https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/07/21/yes-vaccines-should-be-mandatory-for-health-care-workers-heres-a-compassionate-and-equitable-way-to-make-that-happen.html?rf
(8) Yes, vaccines should be mandatory for health-care workers.
(9) https://canucklaw.ca/charity-university-of-toronto-institute-for-pandemics-funded-by-millers-merck-run-by-ontario-science-table/
(10) https://www.chancellorscircle.utoronto.ca/members/vohra-miller-foundation/
(11) Chancellors’ Circle of Benefactors
(12) https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinavohramiller/
(13) Sabina Vohra-Miller _ LinkedIn
(14) https://www.linkedin.com/in/naheedd/
(15) Naheed Dosani _ LinkedIn
(16) https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onla/doc/2016/2016canlii76496/2016canlii76496.html
(17) https://webapps.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/decisions/p/project_details.html?applId=425077&lang=en
(18) https://webapps.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/decisions/p/project_details.html?applId=365753&lang=en
(19) https://webapps.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/decisions/p/project_details.html?applId=419201&lang=en
(20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SHCJaRsU_U
(21) https://www.cbc.ca/radio/whitecoat/palliative-care-team-helps-the-homeless-die-with-dignity-a-healing-circle-helps-them-grieve-1.5048409

BC Pharmacy Association Funded By AstraZeneca, Partners With myDNA; Dix; Sharkawy; Tieleman; Sterilization

The B.C. Pharmacy Association has been lobbying the Provincial Government as of late. It’s interesting to see just who some of these people are, and where the money is coming from. The public at large is completely oblivious to the bigger picture.

As for the people in the above photo, they are very much connected to the B.C.P.A. We will explain all of these players.

  • Bonnie Henry: B.C. Provincial Health Officer
  • Adrian Dix: B.C. Health Minister
  • Abdu Sharkawy: Paid operative on speaking circuit
  • Bill Tieleman: Ex-B.C. Gov’t Official, current B.C.P.A. lobbyist

The B.C.P.A. describes what it does as “advocacy“, or trying to educate the public on certain health matters. Here is their own explanation:

The BC Pharmacy Association is the voice of community pharmacy. Through our organization, we collaborate and advocate for the role of community pharmacists in B.C.’s health-care system.

The Association works with stakeholders like the Ministry of Health, the College of Pharmacists of BC, the University of British Columbia, private insurance payers and other groups to raise the awareness and understanding of community pharmacy in British Columbia.

We have struck working groups on such issues as the role of pharmacists in medical assistance in dying (MAiD), Medication Review Services, Clinical Services, Residential Care and Schedule 1 and 2 medications, to name a few.

Nothing is apparently off limits, as the MAiD, or medical assistance in dying market is growing. Essentially, this is assisted suicide. At least they are honest that some drugs are lethal. There’s also an MLA outreach program, to get Provincial politicians on board with whatever is going on.

Bill Tieleman works as a lobbyist for the B.C. Pharmacy Association. His goal is getting more money for the group, and in pushing the Government to buy more of his client’s products (and products of their supporters). Tieleman is, strictly speaking, a drug lobbyist. He runs a politically themed blog as well, but there is little of substance there.

Tieleman is apparently also pretty chummy with Premier John Horgan. That’s no surprise, given his other BCNDP connections.

It gets even more convoluted because he worked in the Office of the Premier in 1996, according to mandatory disclosures. Adrian Dix was at the time Chief of Staff to Premier Glen Clark, and he later became Leader of the NDP. Dix clearly has clout, even as Health Minister, and Tieleman is an old colleague of his.

As for the idea that lobbying is harmless, it’s been disclosed that the Federal Government (or taxpayers) contributed $176,000 to the B.C.P.A. Tax money was handed over to a private organization that lobbies politicians for greater influence of the drug business.

While the B.C.P.A. likes to present itself as standing up for small pharmacists, they deliberately gloss over an important detail. The bulk of the financing actually comes from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Here, AstraZeneca and Merck are listed as major sponsors.

Abdu Sharkawy, an easily recognizable TV doctor, has spoken to the B.C.P.A. on at least 2 separate occasions. Once was March 19 of this year, and the other was on May 6. The Association clearly thought that his clout was work the money to bring him there.

Sharkawy is actually a professional speaker, and can be hired out through the National Speakers Bureau, or the NSB. According to a reply from NSB, his speaking fees for a virtual appearance runs at $12,000. That said, he’s hardly the only one to engage in such a side business.

RxOme Pharmacogenomics Canada Inc., is a joint venture between the BC Pharmacy Association and myDNA, a genetic testing and interpretation service provider. Together these companies aim to make pharmacogenomic testing and interpretation services available to Canadians through community pharmacies. Empowered with this genetic information Canadians, with their pharmacist’s help, will be able to make better informed decisions about their medications, health and wellness.

Imagine if before taking a medication, you could walk into your local pharmacy and take a test that could accurately predict whether the medication would work for you and the dosage best suited to you—all based on your DNA.

myDNA uses a simple cheek swab to analyze a patient’s genetic profile. The test is ordered by the accredited pharmacy and then the results are sent to the patient, nominated health care professionals and accessible through a secure portal.

The B.C.P.A. is partnering with myDNA, a firm that claims to be able to determine what medications would be needed in the future, based on a person’s genetic profile. It seems like there was a time not too long ago when such an idea was dismissed as baseless conspiracy theories.

Of course, this also raises serious privacy concerns like where will the data be stored, who will have access to it, and will any 3rd parties be able to purchase the data?

Also, will certain drug companies be able to get preference for certain types of disorders, or will it be shared equitably?

The B.C. Pharmacy Association promotes drugs (obviously), and doesn’t seem too concerned about the long term impacts of them. Of course, when such companies, like AstraZeneca, are your primary donors, it’s best not to rock the boat.

Thank you to whoever made this clips available. This information needs to be shared.

Previously: Jean-Marc Prevost used to be work in B.C. Public Health, alongside Henry and Dix. He left, and joined lobbying firm called Council Public Affairs. He then lobbied the B.C. Government — which he was recently a part of — on behalf of Emergent BioSolutions, the manufacturer of AstraZeneca. Also, take a look at the conflicts of interest Doug Ford has been involved with.

It’s an open question whether of not Henry and Dix had any issue with this sudden change, however it seems unlikely.

After all, Henry apparently saw no issue with putting in an exemption for indoor wine tasting, when she co-owned a winery in Keremeos.

This is just a lay opinion, but a lot of this doesn’t exactly sound legitimate. At a minimum, where are the disclosures to the public? And shouldn’t the side effects like mass sterilization be covered a little bit more?

As an update, thank you to those commenting. Always more information to flesh out. See page 233 in the 2019/2020 report.

(1) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/
(2) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=514&regId=56558364&blnk=1
(3) https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/
(4) https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/advocacy
(5) https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/advocacy/mla-outreach-program
(6) https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/conference/sponsors
(7) https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/about/rxome
(8) https://www.nsb.com/speakers/abdu-sharkawy/
(9) https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/conference/agenda-speakers
(10) https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/news/bcpha-2021-conference-highlights-dr-abdu-sharkawy
(11) https://thetyee.ca/News/2011/04/20/MemoMistake/
(12) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Dix
(13) https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnbell/
(14) https://www.keremeosreview.com/news/similkameen-winery-co-owned-by-dr-bonnie-henry/
(15) https://globalnews.ca/news/7732090/indoor-wine-tastings-bc-covid-restrictions/
(16) https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/government-finances/public-accounts/2019-20/pa-2019-20-crf-detailed-schedules-of-payments.pdf
(17) BC Public Accounts 2019 to 2020

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