The following is an open letter to my MLA, Mike Olscamp, which he was emailed just before this post went up:
Hon. Mike Olscamp,
I recently learned of the premier’s intention to pay for MS patients’ so-called “liberation treatment” (N.B. will fund MS vein-opening treatment). This is unfortunate.
While I understand that the premier is acting with the best of intentions and seeks only to alleviate suffering, he is not equipped to second-guess medical professionals who have yet to determine the safety and efficacy of this expensive and controversial technique.
Emotional stories from old friends should not carry undue weight — if any — when making expensive healthcare funding decisions. Scientific journals are not filled with articles containing “I heard from somebody that this works great”, or “wouldn’t it be just wonderful if this worked?”.
Intervening politically in this way undermines the healthcare profession and places the health of New Brunswickers in the hands of people with a vested financial interest in promoting unproven surgical procedures. Is the province prepared to cover possible lawsuits, should the technique prove to be dangerous, since it has endorsed it and funded it?
I hope to learn that the premier has reconsidered his position, and thank you for taking the time to read this; I know how busy you must be.
PS — I will be posting this on my blog at cbmackay.ca