Opinion by Pamela Street, RN
In my search for who will apply ethics to medical bill legislation when SQ788 is passed, I am reminded of ethics applied in nursing. Nursing considers the person unique and addresses the whole person without judgement or discrimination, empowering the patient to knowledge and autonomy. Most service professions have a code of ethics or mission statement guiding the profession in true purpose, to be revisited frequently.
When I approached the OSMA, politicians, law enforcement, professors and professional associations, asking, is it ethical for the HHS Committee to make decisions on medical issues without the guidance of an Ethics Committee, most replied “interesting question”. Some stated “the system is not set to change” some guided me to the Ethics Commission.
The Ethics Commission mostly addresses conflicts of interest in finances, campaigns and lobbying versus the morals of caring and equality. SQ788 advocates have made reports to the Commission based on two Senators on the HHS Committee, one invested in pharmacies and pharmaceutical services the other claiming competency to guide medical legislation, being an MD.
The Physicians Code of Ethics suggest that physicians should advocate for patients in changing laws and to allow ethics to supersede law in certain circumstances. Limiting kinder medicine to only 5 diagnoses borders on discrimination considering patients asked for 788 as written, to work with their physician of choice.
To call SQ788 a recreational measure is a judgement and misapplication of ethics when so many Americans have safe access to cannabis and are replacing dangerous RXs in medical states. To judge the risk of a child ingesting a non-lethal gummy bear as more important than the child that had to leave friends and family in OK, to be seizure free, is an important moral and ethical consideration.
Are we to blindly trust that our political and spiritual leaders are informed, or more importantly, want to be informed? Will they in the face of a successful OK medical program apologize for their poor leadership and ask for an Ethic Committees participation in writing medical legislation in the future? Will we learn from the past?
In the late 1930’s when cannabis prohibition was set, the medical association at the time, warned against removing cannabis from medical use as they were facing their own opiate crisis in history. Two years later Hydrocodone was introduced and the rest is history.
Pamela Street graduated at UCO 94-95 and has 15 plus yrs home health case management, 5 yrs Clinical Outcomes research. In retirement she follows legislation that may effect patient rights and should always consider ethics. Pamela Street is a member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and has been an active advocate for kinder medicine since 2013. She has seen cannabis miracles and resides in Shawnee OK