Bancroft This Week * Friday, April 27, 2012
Patients caught in the middle
Barbara Shaw On their website, they make it clear that "We would say, you know, don't tell eve- Staff reporter they do not address the issue of legalizing ryone," Kamermans said. "That didn't really medical marijuana for general consump- work." tion. So word spread and more and more clients And this is where the patients Kamermans reached out to the doctor in his small clinic It's been 90 days since 20 RCMP and OPP officers raided the home and medical clinic of Dr. Rob Kamermans in Coe Hill. The warrant said the doctor was possessng and trafficking drugs. Found at his office n the morning of Jan. 26, Kamermans was uffed and taken away by the OPP. He says an officer made him pose for a icture in handcuffs outside his clinic. When he asked why he had to be cuffed, e was told it was for the protection of the olice. "They were 20 young men with guns," amermans says quietly. "I am an old man." No illegal drugs were found and no harges have been laid. Kamermans was eleased from questioning after a few hours n Jan. 26 and left to find his own way back ome to Coe Hill. Since the raid, the police have not backed own. They will not say much about the case nd have given no indication when they ight return the medical files seized in the aid. Kamermans is a medical doctor licensed o practice in Canada and across the border n the U.S. He's soft spoken and timid, but any consider him a hero. Along with his wife Mary, a registered urse, Kamermans helps patients who are uffering from grave and debilitating disases. They help people who are broken and they elp the people who will probably never be xed. They help by approving them for the use f medical marijuana. Health Canada recognizes that marijuana remains an illegal and controlled subtance, however, under the marijuana medial access regulations, Health Canada allows or medical access to marijuana." Dr. BRIAN HARRISON Birth is a normal, natural process that's been around since the beginning of humanity. As with any other task the body was created to perform, when you support normal functioning, you have your best chance of success. The road down the birth canal and out into the world can be a trying one, particularly in the case of medical intervention and high-tech births. As a result, there have been ever-increasing occurrences of traumatic birth syndrome. Traumatic birth syndrome describes the presence of trauma-induced skull, spinal damage and spinal misalignment as a result of the birth process. Combine that with common surgical interventions, and the birthing process becomes exponentially more traumatic. When you think about it, it should be no surprise vertebral subluxation (misalignment and/ or damage of the spine) in infants is a common reality. These issues can range from colic, sleep disorders and symptoms of lowered immunity to poor development and more. "Subluxations should be analyzed and corrected as soon as possible after birth to prevent these associated conditions," says pediatric expert Dr. Maxine McMullen. Reports show chiropractic care can be helpful in such diverse disorders as cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, ear infections, the prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and others. The benefits of adjusting subluxation to remove interference have been particularly telling in the case of small children. The facts show young people need chiropractic care as much as or more
They were 20 young men with guns. I am an old man.
helps are getting stuck. Police agencies view marijuana as a drug. End of story. Bancroft staff sergeant Dan Rajsic was clear in his thoughts about Kamermans in an interview on March 16. "If you deal drugs you have to expect to deal with the police," he said. And this is why the situation is frustrating for the doctor and his patients. Health Canada allows him to participate in the national program, it allows him to assess patients and if they are approved he fills out the paperwork for their permit. This gets sent to Health Canada for processing and in eight to 10 weeks the patient can either grow their own marijuana or designate someone to grow it for them. Patients can also access dried marijuana from Health Canada. Terminal patients will have waiting times reduced, according to notes on the Health Canada website. Kamermans, a believer in the benefits of medical use of marijuana, said when he first started approving patients he tried to keep it quiet. Not many doctors were participating and when he would approve someone, he would ask that they be discreet.
The Spinal Column
CHIROPRACTIC AND NEWBORNS
than anyone to maximize proper development and minimize the advent of common infant symptoms and disease. One of the most interesting studies -- based on the examination and adjustment of 1,000 infants -- was done by Dr. Gutmann, a German physician. He concluded blocked nerve impulses at the level of the first vertebrae can cause of central motor impairment and lower resistance to infections, especially those of the ear, nose and throat. One example of Dr. Gutmann's published case studies describes an 18-month-old boy with early relapsing tonsillitis, frequent enteritis, drug therapy resistive conjunctivitis, frequent colds and earaches and increasing sleeping problems. After the first specific adjustment, the child was put to bed and slept peacefully until morning. The conjunctivitis cleared up completely, and his previously disturbed appetite returned to normal. "If the indications are correctly observed," Dr. Gutmann said, "Chiropractic can often bring about amazingly successful results, because the therapy is a causal one. ... With developmental disturbances of every kind, the atlanto-occipital joints should be examined and in each case be treated manually in a qualified manner. The success of this treatment eclipses every other attempt at treatment, including especially the use of medications." YORK RIVER CHIROPRACTIC CENTRE Dr. Brian Harrison 174 Hastings Street North, Bancroft 332-2565
- Dr. Rob Kamermans
in Coe Hill. At the same time patients were being approved, police agencies were asking Health Canada for access to their names. Health Canada only releases the number of approved users - not names. This is part of the reason Kamermans believes he was targeted. "The police came in and they took everything," Kamermans said. "They took the files and they have all of the personal details of people who we approved and the people who were waiting to be seen and they have the names of everyone who will expire." The doctor reports being under surveillance before the raid and the surveillance notes were extensive- over 100 pages of observations and photographs of things like the doctor making credit card purchases. Even now, with no charges laid, Kamermans says the police are never far from the clinic and he is aware of their presence. The pressure from the police is making life difficult for both the doctor and his patients. This is scary for those in the program. People like Mark, who doesn't want his last name used. He's in a bad spot because his files have been taken by the police. He was approved a year ago and now as part of the Health Canada program regulations, he needs a renewal. Kamermans is wary about signing any other forms. Not only is he missing his charts, but he's still under pressure from the OPP and he's being investigated for his practices by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Kathryn Clarke is the senior communications coordinator for the college and she confirms Kamermans is under investigation for his medical marijuana practice. Kamermans says the complaint that started the investigation was launched by another physician who does not support the program. When a patient disclosed to their doctor that Kamermans had approved them for medical marijuana, the complaint was made to the college. Back to Mark, who has travelled close to 500 kilometres for this clinic visit. He's a young professional with a family and he has ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the large intestine and rectum. This painful and debilitating disease runs in Mark's family and he has had symptoms for years. "It was getting really bad and I was having flare-ups and being hospitalized for three weeks at a time," Mark says. "There is no way to describe the pain." He was put on narcotics for the pain and given strong drugs that he describes as being chemo-type. Nothing was really helping the disease, which can be made worse by stress. Then his partner suggested marijuana. He thought she was crazy, but he was desperate and worried about getting worse and having to face surgery. So, he tried it. "It was really effective," Mark says. "I started feeling better and the flare-ups went away." Mark searched for a doctor to approve him but had no luck. Then, like many others in his situation, he heard about Kamermans and he made the long trip to see if the doctor could help. "I was respected and listened to and helped," Mark says. "This is an awful disease and I am glad that I am not suffering anymore." But that might not be true for this patient and for others that the doctor has been working with. With the files gone it is hard to work. The college has their investigation and no hearing date has been set and there's the ongoing presence of the OPP. Mark is upset with the situation. "This is a medication and it makes me feel see Patient page 10
NORTHERN PINES DENTAL
Dr. Wayne Lord Dr. Rafik Salama