January 19, 2010
On Friday, British Columbia's Court of Appeal (COA) upheld a lower court ruling that allowed Vancouver's supervised injection facility, Insite, to continue operations. The Conservative government had appealed the lower court's determination that Insite is a health care facility and therefore under provincial, rather than federal, jurisdiction
In COA's decision is a clear message for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Harper should cease "his draconian, ideologically motivated public health policy-making" and embrace evidence-based health care, Montaner said.
Since 2003, Insite has offered a clinic in Downtown Eastside where injection drug users can shoot up their own drugs under the supervision of a nurse. Among the aims of Insite are to reduce blood-borne infections and overdoses, and to link IDUs to health services including treatment for addiction. Insite supporters had launched the preemptive court action to ensure its exemption from federal drug laws did not expire as scheduled in June 2008.
01.15.2010; Camille Bains