Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Excerpt from Shawn Buckley

"And in preparing for that I wanted to show the court that he was telling the truth. And what happened was, obviously he was a little herbalist at the time, there were no double blind clinical studies or anything like that. But he gave me literally thousands of letters that people wrote just saying, listen I had heart disease, I took your heart drops and I got well. Now I couldn't use those letters, as evidence in court because that's what's called hearsay. But I could call the authors of the letters. And so in preparing for the trial, on the trial day, I actually had five middle class professionals, who had all had heart disease, they had all had at least one open heart by-pass surgery, they all then continued to have heart disease because the mainstream system wasn't addressing why their arteries were clogging, and they all needed another open heart by-pass surgery to survive.

And here's where they differed, a couple of them were not willing to go through it again, they had had so many complications, and it would just buy them a short period of time anyways so they just said "No. Sorry I am not doing that, I would just rather die." And a couple of the others were just too weak that the doctors ethically couldn't put them through the surgery, they weren't likely to survive. All of them were not into natural health but now the mainstream system was a dead end for them. So they all turned to the natural health community, they all came across these heart drops, usually through a naturopathic doctors, and they all became well, they all went back to work, none of them had been able to work.

And that experience changed my thinking because when I was acting for Health Canada against this herbalist, I had what really is a mainstream view that if something isn't regulated by the government then it shouldn't be allowed on the market. I mean if I said, now I'm just going to dramatize here:

"Do you mean that some rogue herbalist could sell something that is unapproved of by Health Canada? Doesn't that sound dangerous?

That's the mind set I had. But in preparing for that trial I had to come to the exact opposite conclusion about those heart drops. The danger was removing them from the market. And at the time, this was about twelve years ago, I could have given you the names, addresses and phone numbers of literally thousands of Canadians whose lives depended on those heart drops. And it forced me to do a re-think, because for them, Health Canada's actions in trying to take them away actually presented an extremely significant danger, and it raised in my mind for the first time, wait a second, people have to be able to take responsibility for their own health. It's fine for the government to educate us, and watch out for the things that are truly dangerous but to say you can't have something because we haven't approved it, when your life depends on it, is a very different issue. And that's what woke me up to it, was actually that experience. And so ironically, it was Health Canada that created that experien