Canadian Medical Association Intervenes to Support Harm Reduction
Ottawa, October 7, 2010 - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Board of Directors has decided
that the CMA will apply for intervener status before the Supreme Court of Canada in its pending
appeal of a case involving Insite, the supervised injection facility in Vancouver, British Columbia.
"The CMA strongly supports the inclusion of harm reduction tools in a comprehensive national drug
strategy," said Dr. Jeff Turnbull, President of the CMA. "The management of a substance-addicted
person through a harm reduction strategy such as Insite is a medical decision involving clinical
autonomy and not an issue subject to government intrusion." CMA has long supported harm reduction
tools in the management of substance addiction, recommending it specifically in the CMA's 2002
submission to a Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. The CMA also liaises with other
interested stakeholders, including the National Specialty Society for Community Medicine and the
Canadian Society for Addiction Medicine.
In August 2008, physician-delegates attending the CMA General Council meeting in Montréal also
passed a resolution stating that: "The Canadian Medical Association calls upon the federal government
to reverse its decision to appeal the British Columbia Supreme Court's decision that would allow
Vancouver's supervised injection site (Insite) to remain open."
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in
1867, CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in
partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is
a voluntary professional organization representing over 72,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising
12 provincial and territorial divisions and 51 national medical organizations.
For more information:
Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations
Tel. : 1 800 663-7336 / 613 731-8610 ext. 1266
Cell. : 613 447-0866
"Reproduced with permission - Canadian Medical Association (CMA)"
Canadian Medical Association (CMA)