Helen Kelly has a guest post at The Standard on Life and Death and Cannabis.
I am taking Cannabis Oil to manage my pain as my lung cancer takes over my body. It’s sort of as simple as that really. For some people talking about dying is confronting but actually talking about it allows us to think about how it happens – it is actually as much a social event as a physical one and knowing someone is comfortable, getting good treatment and pain relief is very much part of the social dimension as the physical one.
She then details what is required to get to use a cannabis derived medical product. And what she is having to try because that’s such a rigmarole.
I have been taking Kytruda (the drug all the publicity is about – a break though for melanoma and has had some success with lung cancer but not with me). I have paid for is (this is what Kiwisaver will be for in the future – to subsidise our underfunded health system). It is completely experimental and the Doctors admit it – they don’t know who it works with, why, exactly how or really even how to administer it the most efficiently – but oh fill me up with it – exactly because I have nothing to lose. I have also had whole brain radiation – massively dangerous – huge side effects possible – I have been lucky – but I can’t take cannabis?
What she wants:
I would like a referendum on the issue at the next election – and I am hoping a Bill might be sponsored to that effect (collecting signatures is not necessary and John Key has shown with the flag – you just need a Bill). It could be run at the election to save money and my bet is it will be overwhelmingly supported.
I think we could change this situation with a little more push – a few leaders speaking out in support, an exposure of the current system refusal by refusal and with real stories of people with real illness just wanting to live the end of their life with a bit of dignity.
It’s very sad that a dying person is having to hope that our politicians will stop ducking for cover, avoiding addressing something that many other countries are advancing on, including the US, Canada and Australia.
It’s bloody stupid that one of the mostly widely used drugs in the country cannot legally be used by someone in the last months of their life.
The whole post is well worth reading – especially by our politicians.