Friday, May 30, 2014

BC teens sue for right to buy medical treatment

Marni Soupcoff: The lawsuit that could revolutionize Canadian health care as we know it | National Post

May 29, 2014 - "Four British Columbians who suffered real physical harm while waiting for access to health care will be in court in September, along with Vancouver’s Cambie Surgical Centre, arguing for all Canadians’ right to make their own healthcare choices. That includes paying out of pocket or through private insurance for an MRI or other crucial test or surgery if the government can’t make it available when it’s needed.

"Three of the plaintiffs in the case are teenagers whose young lives already have been negatively shaped by the ban on accessing private care. They include Walid Waitkus, a 16-year-old with progressive spine deformity, who was paralyzed after a 27-month wait for care; and 18-year-old Chris Chiavatti, who suffered permanent damage while waiting for treatment of his knee injury. Another plaintiff, 37-year-old Mandy Martens, saw her colon cancer spread while she languished on a waitlist. Two other British Columbians were originally part of the action, but they died waiting for the case to go to trial....

"These aren’t people asking for 'U.S.-style' care. They are patients asking for the healthcare choice that is available to residents of every other democracy in the world except Canada: the option to pay for needed treatment to end or reduce their own suffering if the government can’t end or reduce it for them....

"[T]he Canadian Constitution Foundation ... is supporting the constitutional challenge."

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