Pressure on the Australian government to legalise medical cannabis in the country is mounting after a 3-year-old boy was denied treatment in a Melbourne hospital. According to an ABC report, the parents of the boy were angry after doctors stopped giving the patient cannabis oil because they were concerned about its legal implications.
Northern Hospital doctors in Melbourne told the parents, Rhett Wallace and Cassie Batten, that the treatment was cancelled because the hospital was concerned about incurring possible criminal charges. The parents resorted to cannabis oil to treat their son’s seizures in 2013. The doctors had told them the seizures could not be stopped. Wallace and Batten said the cannabis oil had been highly effective on their son.
However, the parents told ABC that after doctors had first helped them administer medical cannabis, hospital staff now warned they would call the police if they continued to give their son cannabis oil. Wallace said he was devastated since his child will not be able to receive the treatment that could save his life.
According to Northern Hospital spokesperson Ryan Brown, the hospital will not tolerate the use of “an illegal substance.” He went on to say that the child’s health and welfare is their primary concern. The hospital encouraged the parents to follow the advice of medical professionals.
Dr Alex Wodak, president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, said the government has lost “the consent of the governed” on the subject of medical cannabis. He admits it was a difficult situation for the family including the medical professionals. He understood the need of parents who are willing to do anything to help their child.
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