Monday, August 18, 2008

I’m the boss of you.

Shorter Health Minister and Snake Oil Salesman Tony Clement: I’m not a doctor and I’ve never played one on TV but why should that stop me from totally questioning the ethics of any and all doctors who don’t think just like I tell them to.


Frank Frink said...


"Mr. Clement said Vancouver's Insite safe-injection centre has done little to reduce drug overdose deaths because most narcotics are still used in “back alleys and seedy motels.”

Ummm.. Tony? Maybe that's because there's only one facility like Insite in the entire freakin' country?

Also, Tony? If you want to question ethics maybe you should take a very close look at exactly who you have chosen to defend your ideological position.

What's worse, you openly admit that science matters very little, if at all.

federal Health Minister Tony Clement addressed the annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association in Vancouver, and his comments confirm that science plays no role in informing Conservative drug policy.

In response to questions about Insite, Clement stated: "There has been more research done, and some of it has been questioning of the research that has already taken place and questioning of the methodology associated with Insite. Clearly there is a public debate going on, and clearly there is an academic debate going on."

This is a patently false assertion. To date, there are more than two dozen studies on Insite published in top-flight journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet, and all have found that Insite is associated with positive outcomes. There is absolutely no research contradicting these findings, which means that Clement is either ignorant or he's a liar, neither of which is acceptable for a minister of health.

Evidently, what Clement is relying on is an essay written by Colin Mangham of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada, a Randy White-led group of anti-harm reduction ideologues that includes on its board at least two people who have been affiliated with Narconon, a Church of Scientology-related anti-drug program. (White himself has expressed enthusiasm for prison Narconon programs.)

As I argued previously, Mangham's piece is not a scientific paper, but is rather an error-riddled opinion piece published on a Drug Free America Foundation website. Mangham nevertheless thought highly enough of his shoddy work to write to the federal government about it, and evidently the feds are listening, which isn't surprising given that former Conservative MP White -- and now, the Church of Scientology -- obviously has the ear of the Conservatives.

And pardon the blogwhoring, but something about all this and more a couple days ago.

Frank Frink said...

Interesting... the copy text of the G & M story has changed since LuLu first linked to it.

The part I quoted in my first comment has now been bumped down about 10 or 11 paragraphs. The main focus of the story is now on, sigh, Clement lamenting 'Teh Slippery Slope'. Which is where most readers will nod, agree and stop reading the story.

Our media fails us once again.