Address to Canadian Parliament
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 5:59pm
Honorable Ministers and Members:
I thank you for your passionate, thoughtful, invaluable debate. If you will allow me, I would like to share my thoughts with you. I have included in the address list above the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health of Canada, the Honorable Premier Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia, the Honorable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Health of BC, and the Honorable Adrian Dix, Member of the Legislative Assembly of BC, so that you may know with certainty that British Columbians have been actively engaging with our Provincial and Federal Government, with little success. I pray you will have better luck.
In BC and across Canada, directives and studies regarding CCSVI are being driven by neurologists, whose only form of patient therapy is based in pharmacology. It is only natural that they feel the same research criteria necessary for drug agents be applied to mechanical intervention. But venoplasty is not a drug. With pharmacological intervention, there is no way to witness the mechanism of action with the naked eye. Drug researchers must analyze results collected through tests performed by lab technicians that give false positives, false negatives, and unexpected adverse reactions. With venoplasty the physician feels with his own hands and sees with his own eyes immediate results: the restoration of blood flow. Adverse reactions are similar to every other surgical procedure: bleeding, infection, and tissue injury. There are no false positives or false negatives. There is only truth. The procedure is a success or it isn't. But unlike drug trials, when a mechanical intervention is unsuccessful it is not abandoned, it is perfected.
Neurologists do provide expert opinion, but only on neurologial issues. An understanding of venous stenosis is not part of their competencies. It is however, part of the competencies of vascular specialists and interventional radiologists. Their expert opinion on treatment and research should be held in the highest regard, above that of neurology, as CCSVI and the venous malformations that cause this condition are a vascular issue.
Dr. Sandy Macdonald, Vascular Surgeon in Barrie, Ontario, is confident of prevalence, safety and efficacy after testing 300 patients and treating 6, and cannot understand why he is being prevented from treating any further patients.
Dr. Sanford Altman, Interventional Radiologist in Miami, Florida, notes there is little published data on treating venous stenosis of the jugular or azygous veins in patients with MS. But he has performed thousands of percutaneous angioplasties (PTA) on dialysis patients with central venous stenoses. He states: 'In my experience, jugular and azygous veins seem to tolerate PTA well with a low complication rate. Long term patency, particularly for patients with venous stenosis as a causative factor for MS, is unknown.'
Dr. Tariq Sinan, a Consultant Interventional Radiologist in Kuwait has offered his expert opinion as well: 'I do believe that the symptoms that improve after Internal jugular veins angioplasty are symptoms of CCSVI rather M.S. symptoms. I think CCSVI should be treated in any person with or without M.S. that have symptoms. I have been treating venous malformation and stenosis for 16 years now. It is my opinion that any person with Superior vena cava obstruction symptoms or symptoms that can be attributed to CCSVI must be treated with at least balloon angiolplasty which is a procedure with minimal risk. I also believe that any neurological symptoms attributed to inflammation (like M.S.) will be exaggerated and worsened by the congestion caused by CCSVI. So I totally disagree with the opinion that people (with or without M.S.) who have CCSVI and clinical symptoms will suffer no harm in waiting for 5-10 years.' In his current ongoing study, Dr. Tariq has found a prevalence of 84% CCSVI in 300 MS patients and 7% in 100 controls.
"First Do No Harm".
"PRIMUM NON NOCERE"
This is the heart of the Hippocratic Oath and the essence of Humanity, and in the case of CCSVI, can be accomplished with the immediate commencement of testing and treatment alongside a long-term, ongoing study.
Any other position is simply inhumane.
Thank you for your consideration,
Gwen Valentic-Morrison RMT MLD-CDT