Pressure on Dunne – another mother wanting medicinal cannabis

There is pressure on Peter Dunne with another mother applying pressure to be able to use medicinal cannabis to treat her 7 year old daughter.

The Rotorua Post (via NZH) reports: Hope for Zoe in cannabis oil

Zoe has neurodevelopmental disorder and refractory seizure disorder, due to her brain being deprived of oxygen during birth.

Mrs Jeffries said doctors had given her 24 hours to live but, seven years on, Zoe was still fighting. “It’s the ups and downs that make it hard. You can only live each day as it comes … As a family, we are extremely happy Mr Dunne has shown considerable compassion and approved the use of Elixinol for Alex (Renton).

“In regards to Zoe, she has had a list of seven pharmaceuticals to trial this year. There is one left to try and she still continues to have hundreds of seizures daily”.

Dunne has made it clear that approval for Alex didn’t set a precedent:

Mr Dunne stressed the use of Elixinol in Mr Renton’s situation wasn’t a precedent and shouldn’t be seen as a “significant change in policy”.

But that is contradicted.

Mr Dunne said doctors had been able to apply for medicinal cannabis products for many years but it was the first time that avenue had been used for that product.

More products are available now, and more testing is being done, and more anecdotal evidence is becoming available. And there’s quite a bit of research pending.

What Mrs Jeffries will need to do is apply to the Ministry for approval to use a product.

Ministry of Health advice was “50/50 saying that there’s no compelling evidence that this product will work. On the other hand there’s no compelling evidence it will do significant damage to him”.

She needs to show that there is reasonable evidence the product might work, and that there is no compelling evidence it will not do any damage to Zoe.

Ideally approval for the product in general can be obtained to save parents from going through procedures and more stress.

It will help if more doctors and specialists ask for these relatively safe products too.

Mrs Jeffries said UICNZ was working constructively with the Ministry of Health to change that. “We hope to be able to implement a methodical regime here in NZ. Ideally compassion for one can equate to compassion for all in need.”

” Zoe is my inspiration for becoming a trustee with United in Compassion NZ (UICNZ), a sister branch of the Australian organisation who worked with Rose Renton on Alex’s case. As a non-profit we are working towards the goal of medical cannabis in NZ, and doing so from an angle highlighting education, compassion and logic.”

UICNZ now has charity status and has set up a Givealittle page to raise funds. For more information visit unitedincompassion.org.nz/2015/06/13/united-in-compassion-is-officially-registered-and-seeking-donations/

Karen Jeffries is far from the only parent desperate for something that will effectively treat their child.

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6 Comments

  1. Why do doctors have to apply on a case-by-case basis to the minister, for approval to prescribe cannabis drugs ? (its a ‘Class C’ drug)
    Its just Dunne playing nonsensical ‘power games’. 😦

    Reply
    • No, it’s Dunne reacting to what’s put in front of him under existing law.

      It’s possible to request interim approval for any medicine including medicinal cannabis products, but proof of relative safety and possible effectiveness has to be provided.

      What’s needed now is either compelling evidence of effectiveness and safety, or a supplier putting in an application for their product that passes the requirements.

      Reply
      • I hear what your saying Pete.. BUT : Canada, USA, many in EU, some in Sth America.. these countries are now allowing Medicinal cannabis (for a raft of conditions & pain relief), Dunne appears to be totally ignoring them. Appearing to say ” I’m the expert here & no-one elses opinion counts !” 😦

        On so many other issues NZ looks to the ‘western world’ for direction & advice…

        Reply
  2. Its great that one of our trustees at United in Compassion gets another news piece, having just registered as a charitable trust this week, its a great start to raising awareness, and hopefully funds to further our work.

    Reply

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