31 Oct The Medical Establishment Shows Its True Colours On Cannabis. A Betrayal of Patients.
On 31st October 2018, NHS England published what it describes as prescribing guidance – ‘Cannabis-based products for medicinal use: Guidance to clinicians‘.
The actual guidance is buried within a mountain of bureaucratic doublespeak and requires downloading PDFs from the Royal College of Physicians (download here) and the British Paediatric Neurology Association (download here). In both cases, aside from chemotherapy-induced nausea, the guidance amounts to ‘do not prescribe’. This is a travesty of the intention of these reforms and demonstrates how the medical establishment is more interested in protecting its self-interest than in helping patients gain the benefits of cannabis as medicine. Cowardly and scared are the two words which best sum this up.
It’s no surprise that doctors in the UK are ignorant about the use of cannabis as medicine. They have been subject to the same relentless torrent of reefer madness propaganda from government and media as the rest of society. They have been prevented even from learning about the endocannabinoid system by the authoritarian policy of prohibition and any doctor in the UK who has any experience of cannabis as medicine will have been in breach of professional ethics as well as the law.
But it’s deeply disappointing that the authors of these documents have made no effort to understand the excellent work that is being done by medical professionals in other countries. The Royal College of Physicians and the BPNA will be a laughing stock across the world in the many more enlightened and educated jurisdictions where patients are gaining great benefit. But of course, this isn’t a laughing matter. In fact, these two so-called professional bodies are making it a tragedy.
Clearly, what is in the best interests of patients is that we must bring in expertise from overseas. There are eminent doctors abroad who will be glad to step in, particularly in private practice, and pick up this baton which the NHS has fumbled and dropped in the most clumsy fashion.
This is a huge opportunity for those in private medicine who can set aside these cowardly excuses and make the most of the new regulations for patients who are fortunate enough to be able to afford it.
For the average Briton with chronic pain, Crohn’s Disease or an epileptic child this is a kick in the teeth from the profession that is supposed to care for them.