MP knows his oath

Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney responds to Mike McDowall's criticism that he violated his oath as a health practitioner.

To the Editor,

Re: Did Lunney violate his oath, Dec. 6.

Contrary to allegations by Mike McDowall I am well aware of the oath I took prior to taking responsibility for patient care.

Part of that oath was always to use the knowledge I gained in the patient’s interest. This is why I have championed measures to reduce hospital infections/deaths and to advance wellness promotion and disease prevention.

On the issue of Bill C-398 to provide AIDS drugs to Third World nations, the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime, the current system, was passed in 2004.

It was used only once, providing treatment for about 300,000 persons in Rwanda.

The program had little positive impact for a number of reasons.

Among them is that the same drugs are available cheaper from developing countries like India.

Canada is helping those suffering from AIDS in Africa.

We are the third largest donor to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, with $540 million committed over three years.

Our Muskoka Initiative has leveraged $2.85 billion for maternal and child health in developing countries.

I have no problem with my conscience. Canadians can be proud of the work they are supporting to help AIDS victims and other suffering peoples around the world.

James Lunney,

Nanaimo-Alberni MP