Friday October 20th 2017

Opinion: How can we deny help for MS patients?

The letter from Gael Bullard, a retired nurse, is the best comment from any source I have read on the angioplasty for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. And yet, what nurse Bullard has to say is so patently obvious.

She has written with great clarity and has managed to sidestep the sound of anger that I, and others in the nursing community must feel, when delivering care to the MS patients who are in hospitals. I have felt that anger from the beginning and written regularly in response to news reports about the “liberation therapy,” which was developed by the Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni, but I have never been able to state the issue with such power, driven by what is so clearly evident.

I hope that nurses from everywhere will arrive today on Parliament Hill to counterbalance the medical, administrative and political wrong-thinking on this issue.

I have no doubt that most of this is driven by the perceived cost of offering this treatment to MS patients, but I also fear that some of it is driven by arrogance.

Nurses, even today, do not typically have much of a public voice as it was shown when SARS nurses in Toronto rightly insisted on being heard on safety issues.

I am proud to hear nurse Bullard’s concise analysis that carries with it the compassion of the profession. Thank you.

Jane Dunn,

Ottawa

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