Stop hospital policy that stops nurses from helping vulnerable patients.

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Imagine the unimaginable. My sister Anita who cannot lift her arms to take legally prescribed medical cannabis to stop seizures lies helplessly in a hospital bed. Meanwhile, citizens breathe in the aroma of recreational marijuana in city streets and dispensaries dispense. The only high with this policy is high levels of stress and distress. It is time we started breathing in just medical practices in Ontario. Recreational users have the right to recreation. Medical patients have the right to medication.

Nurses have the legal right to administer medical cannabis per Cannabis Regulations. It is only words and lip service, impossible to follow with restrictive hospital policies in place. Nurses must respect hospital policy so choose between job security or watching patients suffer. Anita goes without medical CBD.

A nurse said, "It is hard watching your sister twitch and jerk".

This is a far cry from equal medical treatment as a mother cries, worried her daughter will have another seizure. Anita's mother hires private workers to travel to the hospital to administer medication, workers with less experience and no formal training in pharmacology. Her mother cannot keep up with the financial expense. Nurses cannot keep up monitoring workers less knowledgeable about medication. 

One worker who was at the hospital 30 minutes billed Anita's mother for six hours. There is no accountability.

Everyone is affected by this policy. One day you may cry if a loved one goes without.

It underutilizes nurses' gifts and puts patients at risk.

Family is so affected there are no words to describe it. Most remain silent. Others hold their breath waiting for the next distressing telephone call about a mother who has shortness of breath from all the stress, at risk for another heart attack. Or a call telling us Anita had another seizure. I am breathless.

The solution is simple. Change hospital policy so nurses who are legally authorized to administer medical cannabis can actually administer it.

Allow nurses to keep patients safe, healthy and well. Respect patients' rights to choose medication. 

Anita is in Sault Area Hospital (SAH) but hospital policies across the province need to be changed.  

Let SAH step up and step out, taking the lead, showing Ontario and Canada that northerners are risk-takers, innovators, strong and wise, ensuring all citizens thrive.