Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
June 20, 2005

Another Province Has The Health Freedom Bill!

..."many doctors were secretly practicing nutritional and environmental medicine, all fearing their college's condemnation in spite of the main-stream medical research from which these therapies continuously emerge....

....College of Surgeons and Physicians vigorously opposed this bill right up to the last day....

...It was vigorously opposed by the Association of Canadian Pharmacies which lobbied long and hard against it with every MLA, citing loss of income as the main problem that such a bill would cause if people were given the choice of treatments."...

Here is another great newscast from Helke, imagine those pretending to look after our health being the primary hurdle! Who says medicine is not big business?

Chris Gupta

Hi everybody!

On Thursday June 16th, 2005, the Province of Manitoba incorporated into its laws the Health Freedom bill known as the Alaska Clause in the USA, or the Kwinter Amendment in Ontario. It was originally part of the Helsinki Accord on Human Rights which was signed by Canada in 1988 and, therefore, should have guided the provinces in their handling of alternative and innovative medicine. It is also part of the code of conduct of the World Medical Association. This clause states:

"A member [meaning a doctor who is a member of a medical college] shall not be found guilty of professional misconduct or of incompetence under Section .....[each province differs] solely on the basis that the member practices a therapy that is non-traditional or that departs from the prevailing medical practice, unless there is evidence that proves that the therapy poses a greater risk to a patient's health than the traditional or prevailing practice."

The purpose of this clause is to (1) free the patient-doctor relation ship from a third party's interference. (2) Top permit using new methods of or substances that have not yet become part of clinical guidelines but are known from the primary medical research to be helpful. (3) To put the onus of proof of harm on the regulatory agency or the patient, not place the onus of the therapy's safety on the physician. (4) Make it difficult for regulatory agencies to prosecute a physician regardless of good outcomes - as the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons did so blatantly for decades (see Glasnost Report 2001).

The first province to incorporate it into its laws governing the practice of medicine was Alberta in 1997. It was vigorously opposed by the Association of Canadian Pharmacies which lobbied long and hard against it with every MLA, citing loss of income as the main problem that such a bill would cause if people were given the choice of treatments. It became law with the unanimous consent of that legislature. Shortly after, the Maritimes adopted this amendment as well, and then BC did too.

Ontario was next. The bill was championed by MPP M. Kwinter (now the Minister of Correctional Services) when he was among the Opposition Liberals. He and Citizens for Choice in Health Care and other health-freedom groups worked hard for 5 years on this project, at times it was close to a full-time job for me personally, writing articles on the need for the Kwinter Bill. Supported by the Conservatives, then in power, it became law with unanimous consent in 2000 and resulted in dozens of doctors' cases preserving their licenses, then in various stages of appeal against their college's attempt to suppress especially environmental medicine. In 2001 Ian Bresslaw, emerged as the sole fighter in a province that has no patient groups like Ontario and the other provinces did; he, pestered the NDP government about the need for this bill because he knew how many doctors were secretly practicing nutritional and environmental medicine, all fearing their college's condemnation in spite of the main-stream medical research from which these therapies continuously emerge. Finally, Ian got the support of a Ukrainian priest, Father M. Kushko of Saskatchewan, but friendly with various Manitoba MLAs and a lifelong friend of the Romanow family; Roy Romanow suggested that alternative medicine should be part of medicare - remember? Then he got the support from famous Manitoban the former Governor General of Canada Ed Shreyer (governor 1979-1984) who has a family member helped by nutritional medicine expert Dr. Abram Hoffer. An overly cautious Minister of Health was recently replaced by Tim Sale, a former Unitarian Minister, with guts and insight. The Manitoba College of Surgeons and Physicians vigorously opposed this bill right up to the last day, June 13th. He took on the bill as Private Member's Bill championed by MLA Len Durkach who, once convinced of the importance of this amendment for the progress of medicine, worked hard to bring it forward. My job, during the past 4 years, was to provide a steady flow of information to all concerned.

On Monday June 13th presentations were made in support of the bill in the legislative building in Winnipeg by homeopathic doctors, a dental surgeon, Ian himself, people working in the nutritional supplement industry and me. I was asked to come and describe the history and effect of this bill wherever it has been passed into law. The committee's MLAs became so interested, they voted to have me speak for close to half an hour. I provided the committee with copies of the international data available on deaths by standard medicine versus alternative medicine; I had available the data for the UK, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand for 2004. The USA's famous medical college at Johns Hopkins, now identifies death by standard medicine as being the leading cause of death, while alternative medicine recorded 2 uncertain cases in 2003. The bill was unanimously passed by the committee and then by their legislative assembly the next day and became law on the following day.

Now only Saskatchewan and Quebec do NOT have this amendment to their laws governing medicine - but we health freedom fighters are all on the warpath and working on them too. So stay tuned!


Helke Ferrie


posted by Chris Gupta on Monday June 20 2005
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

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