Sherbrooke hospital to allow medical marijuana use
The council of physicians, dentists and pharmacists at the Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre has voted in favour of allowing patients to use medical marijuana in their rooms.
Published Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:27PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:39PM EDT
Doctors, dentists and pharmacists at the Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre (CHUS) have voted to allow patients to use medical marijuana in “exceptional circumstances and in certain conditions.”
The decision comes after a doctor at the hospital granted Charles Bury, the former editor of the Sherbrooke Record and well-known figure in the Eastern Townships, the right to use vaporized medical marijuana in his Sherbrooke hospital room while waiting to be transferred to a palliative care facility.
A longtime newspaper man, Bury become an advocate for medical marijuana later in life. He had liver cancer and died in February.
That incident prompted the hospital’s council of physicians, dentists and pharmacists to come up with a clear policy on the practice. It voted in favour of allowing patients to use vaporized medical marijuana during a general assembly Tuesday, according to a news release.
Medical marijuana is legal in Canada and individual hospitals and doctors can choose whether they will allow its use.
The council put together a working group comprised of an ethics consultant, a palliative care doctor, an anesthesiologist and a pharmacist, which produced a report on how the practice would unfold at the hospital.
The report recommends vaporized medical marijuana be used with “caution” and in “precise conditions,” namely that the patient has a private room, that they have government permission to use the marijuana and that they supply their own marijuana and vaporizer.
The council cites scientific studies that show medical marijuana can be used to ease pain, insomnia and nausea caused by chemotherapy as reasons to allow the practice.
In the coming weeks, hospital directors and the council will work on successfully implementing the new policy.