Note from TheraPsil: On October 6th 2020, NDP MP Alistair MacGregor ( Cowichan – Malahat – Langford) wrote a letter to Minister Patty Hajdu, asking her to ” consider committing the resources required to escalate Section 56 applications to allow clinicians the ability to legally provide compassionate care to their patients who so desperately need it.” TheraPsil has received Mr. MacGregor’s blessing to share this letter, publicly.
We are so incredibly grateful for the network of many Canadian MP’s who have lent their support to TheraPsil in our mission to obtain compassionate access to psilocybin therapy for Canadians who are experiencing end-of-life distress, and for the healthcare professionals who are seeking access to psilocybin so that they may professionally train in this unique modality and be prepared to treat patients with psilocybin therapy.
Alistair – we would like to extend a special thank you for allowing your support and advocacy to be made public. It is incredibly helpful and honorable. Today marks 111 days that Canadian healthcare professionals have been waiting on a reply from Patty Hajdu in regards to their section 56 exemptions, and we are looking forward to her swift response.
October 6, 2020
The Honorable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Hajdu,
I am writing to you in your capacity as Minister of Health, on behalf of constituents, physicians, and the many Canadians who are suffering from end-of-life distress, regarding medically supervised psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
As you are aware, tens of thousands of Canadians are currently suffering from end-of-life distress due to a combination of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and demoralization experienced through a diagnosis of an incurable illness. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy has been proved to be an exceptionally effective measure in providing compassionate care to critically ill patients.
In recognition of your ministry’s August 4th, 2020, announcement to approve four patients to receive a legal exemption from the Canadian Drugs & Substances Act to access psychedelic therapy, I would like to bring another facet of this issue to your attention.
It has recently been brought to my attention that two of my constituents, Dr. Valorie Masuda, and Dr. Crosbie Watler, along with 12 other doctors and therapists across Canada, have submitted section 56 (Controlled Drugs & Substances Act) applications so they may use psilocybin for their own training. It is also my understanding that Canada does not have enough trained clinicians to meet the demand for patients seeking section 56 support and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. It is my concern that further unnecessary suffering will continue while clinician applications await processing.
As you may recall, I recently contacted you regarding my constituent (NAME REMOVED FOR ANONYMITY) emergency section 56 application for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. I am grateful for your ministry’s prompt response, and I am pleased to inform you that the procedure was a remarkable success. Within 24 hours (PATIENT NAME REMOVED) experienced a significant reduction in pain resulting in a rapid reduction in pain medications. Furthermore, she was calmed enough by the procedure to engage in meaningful conversation with family members, even exhibiting some humor. Her family was astounded by her change in disposition.
Minister, I truly believe that we are at the cutting edge of now being able to treat what was previously untreatable existential suffering. As such, I ask that you, in cooperation with your provincial counterparts, consider committing the resources required to escalate Section 56 applications to allow clinicians the ability to legally provide compassionate care to their patients who so desperately need it.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your reply.
Member of Parliament
To see the actual letter, please see here: Alistair MacGregor Letter to Minister Patty Hajdu