21/05/2018

SDLP Hits Out At Home Office

The SDLP has hit out at the Home Office after it issued a legal letter to a doctor who has been prescribing medicinal cannabis to a 12 year-old boy who suffers from severe epilepsy.

Billy Caldwell has been reacting well to the treatment, but his family are anxious as they only have enough of the life-saving drug to last until June.

Ms Caldwell has said that officials have signed her son's 'death warrant' by undermining health professionals.

The SDLP's health spokesperson, Mark H Durkan, said he is "appalled" the Home Office has reacted so heavy-handedly.
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He said: "It has been clear from the start that Billy's GP has issued this treatment in good faith to save a young boys life, not to open the floodgates to inappropriate drug use. Medical professionals sign a Hippocratic oath to ensure patients get the care they need, and this action by bureaucrats has undermined that oath.

"The SDLP will be writing to the Home Office to ask them to retract the letter sent to Dr O'Hare on the basis that a child could needlessly die. We will also be ensuing the Department to state their rationale for warning Dr O'Hare from writing anymore prescriptions."

(CD/LM)

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