Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hunger Strike Woman From Peterborough 'Wins' Hunger Strike Battle

A woman from Peterborough who went on hunger strike to get better medical help, including a cannabis-based drug, for her husband has won her battle.
Angela Cavill-Burch has cared full-time for her tetraplegic husband Terence ever since he got an infection three years ago.
She said he needed the drug called Sanitex*, normally only licenced for MS sufferers, to ease his chronic pain.
The drug is now being provided. Mrs Cavill-Burch's protest lasted six days.
She had called on NHS Peterborough Community Services (NHS PCS) for more support over a nine-month period.
The case was featured on BBC Look East on Monday and now NHS PCS has agreed to provide the drug Sanitex and reinstate physiotherapy as the medication works in conjunction with it.
Emergency night carers are also being provided for Mr Burch as an interim measure while full day and night time carers can be found.

Mrs Cavill-Burch said she was angry at how long the NHS PCS had taken to respond to her concerns.
"I should not have had to resort to such a drastic action to get people to listen to me," she told BBC Look East.
In a statement NHS PCS said: "A current review is now taking place to reassess these (the couple's) needs and to ensure that appropriate and effective care is in place in agreement with Mr Burch and Mrs Cavill-Burch."
Two meetings have already been set up for Mrs Cavill-Burch to meet with care agencies.

NB: Having listened to Mrs Cavil Burch be interviewed on BBC News this morning it seems that NHS PCS are not providing night carers in the sense we'd think of carers as they still have no ability to find the kind of specially trained carers Mr CB's medical condition requires. What they are actually providing is a 'safety staff' to ensure MRS CB is fully awake during the night to provide the care her husband requires.

*Dear BBC. The drug is called Sativex not Sanitex. 


Penelope said...

I wonder if long term this could be used as a case study so that other people without MS who might benefit from Sativex can access it.

In the US, I take marinol which is a synthetic THC med (not as good as smoking cannabis or doing something with the actual plant) which is better IME with my chronic pain than opiates have been. Certainly you seem to get a fair bit of relief from cannabis as well and there's now some research out there about chronic pain that suggests that opiates are actually the wrong way to treat it all together and that instead THC and things like low-dose naltrexone will do a lot more for most people with chronic pain. (The research I read is suggesting that the mechanisms causing chronic pain are actually ones that will fight opiates which is why opiate tolerance happens. The mechanism instead has THC receptors and other factors that mean that a lot of the experimental meds out there such as THC-based and things similar to low-dose naltrexone work much better)

Arienette said...

Wow. Could they have focused on the 'marijuana based spray' ANY more? Way to sideline the issues, BBC!

It's a 'win' but no one has really won here.