To the editor:
Our Member of Parliament (Ron Cannan, Kelowna-Lake Country) recently responded to my previous letter to your paper. (Research Must Follow Scientific Process, March 8 Capital News)
While I could provide you with a lengthy diatribe pointing out where Mr. Cannan’s statements are far from accurate, but if you will allow I would like to answer just one of his issues:
“…The current hysterical response to CCSVI is no reason to circumvent these proven procedures.”
Let me just say that if “the response” appears to be hysterical, it is because of the hostility, negativity and lack of caring by the neurological community; it is due to the complacency and complicity of the MS Society on this issue; and it is due to the inaction and misinformation of the Minister of Health and the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
The “hysteria” is coming from chronically ill multiple sclerosis sufferers and their care givers who are being ignored, who cannot get answers to legitimate questions put to our so-called leaders, and who are being discriminated against by a health care system that is far from “universal.”
It is because respected vascular surgeons are ignored while the minister of health and the CIHR listen to advice from the neurological community who are clinging to an unproven theory and who have not cured one patient in over 60 years.
As for “proven procedures” being in place, it seems that whatever these procedures might be, they can and are being over-ridden. (Jan 17, 2012 globalnews.ca Report on the work being done at the Munk Cardiac Centre, Toronto.)
A procedure called renal denervation is being performed using studies done outside of Canada. The procedure is a minimally invasive surgery, which is not approved in Canada. It is being allowed under Health Canada’s Special Access Program.
Unproven, not approved, minimally invasive—why is CCSVI not being given this special treatment?
Finally, Mr. Cannan states he is a strong advocate for his constituents who live with MS. To achieve those lofty goals, Mr. Cannan, you should have voted “for” Bill C-280, allowed it to go to committee for discussion. The bill called for a national strategy for CCSVI; it called for establishing guidelines for tracking and follow-up; it called for funding for the trials to be put in place and it called for the trials to begin immediately.
To oppose a bill that contained common sense requests for your constituents is not strong advocacy.