Heroin Trial

Court rules to allow patients to continue supervised heroin use from Providence physicians

Entrenched addicts who were prescribed heroin as part of a B.C.-based clinical trial will be able to continue receiving the drug while a larger constitutional challenge is before the courts.

B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson released his decision on Thursday, finding risks associated with severe heroin addiction “will be reduced if [the addicts] receive injectable diacetylmorphine (heroin) treatment from Providence physicians.These potential harms are clearly irreparable in nature.”

Andrea Woo Reports

B.C. Supreme Court grants injunction allowing doctors at Providence Crosstown Clinic to prescribe heroin to select addicts

The supervised injection room at Providence Crosstown Clinic, where patients are given prescribed heroin as a means of managing their addictions.

THE B.C. SUPREME Court has granted an injunction that lets doctors give prescription heroin to select patients in Vancouver.

According to a 34-page decision, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson found that risks faced by the opiate addicts acting as plaintiffs in the case would be reduced if doctors were allowed to administer diacetylmorphine (prescription heroin).

PHC Heroin Trial - The pros and cons of prescribing to addicts

Doctors treating addicts from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside have been asking the federal government to extend a trial program under which they were allowed to write prescriptions for diacetylmorphine. Health Minister Rona Ambrose has opposed extending the program. On March 25, Providence Health Care took the doctors' case before the British Columbia Supreme Court.

Why is diacetylmorphine controversial? Because it's better known by the trade name it had before it was made illegal: Heroin.

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