A judge is hearing a family lawyer’s application to have a new Ontario drug policy overturned.
The family of Anthony Smith, who overdosed on fentanyl and died of a fentanyl overdose in April, has asked the Ontario Court of Appeal to review the government’s approach to family-friendly drug policies, including the prohibition of fentanyl.
A family lawyer for the family says the government is “inhumane” for allowing family members to be separated from the rest of their lives while opioid users are separated from their loved ones.
Anthony Smith, 44, overdosed in April on fentanyl in an Ontario residential care facility and died at home.
He had been on OxyContin since March and was prescribed the drug to treat chronic pain.
His family says he had been in pain for a number of years and his pain was becoming too severe for him to live with.
His family has sued the government for violating Ontario’s Narcotic Control Act.
In their appeal, the family said they have “long and clear evidence” that the Ontario Narcotic Act allows for the treatment of opioid dependence and “addiction.”
They say the Ontario Drug Benefit Act was amended in April 2017 to remove a prohibition on the treatment and rehabilitation of opioid addiction.
The government said in its response that the family’s case was about the same as all others filed in the courts by individuals who had tried opioid addiction treatment in Ontario and were unable to find an opioid provider that was available to them.
The government also said the family has “no other alternative to this court proceeding.”
The family’s lawyer, Scott Wotherspoon, said in his filing that Ontario is not using its Narcotic Drug Benefit program to treat opioid addiction and is instead using it to target people who are addicted to opioids.
Wotherspoons application says the Ontario drug program is “at odds with a basic principle of our justice system, which is that a defendant cannot have his or her rights or liberties abridged by the courts.”
It is inhumane to put the lives of those who have been in the system for decades and are suffering with addiction at risk,” he wrote.”
We cannot have our justice systems functioning without the availability of safe, affordable, effective and effective treatment options.
“The government says the family needs to be treated separately.
The family has asked for an emergency injunction preventing the Ontario government from interfering with their treatment, as well as orders prohibiting the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care from interfering in the family member’s treatment or treatment of their loved one, and an injunction preventing Ontario from interfering further with their family members.
In the motion, Wothers family argues the Ontario Department of Health has a duty to ensure the safety of family members and their loved-ones in the public and private care of the province.”
The Ministry of the Attorney General is mandated to ensure that individuals and families are able to access appropriate treatment and care and that this is provided in accordance with the law and the court order,” the application states.”
Our family is also required to be fully informed of the potential risks to their loved and loved-uncles and relatives who may be receiving treatment through the Ontario Drugs Program.
“The court’s decision is expected to be heard in the spring.