ANGIOPLASTY FOR ALL
July 9th 2010
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
On July 2nd 2010 the organization Angioplasty for All was formed in Toronto Ontario. The purpose of the organization is to fund a legal challenge against the discrimination of Canadians diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Every Canadian diagnosed with MS knows of the recent break-through in the treatment of those with MS. Diagnosis no longer equals destiny. The growing realization among MS sufferers and their medical specialists is that MS is not some kind of core disease – it is rather a convenient label that has been attached to a series of symptoms that science did not seem to know the cause of. Until now medical treatment for MS sufferers has amounted to treating symptoms, not knowing how to treat the underlying cause. Medicine did not know the cause.
The treatments and the research that has taken place in recent years confirm the reality of what was previously only a hope. To put it simply and in summary fashion, MS is no longer a total mystery. The vascular system draining blood from the brain has been determined to be the fundamental obstacle at the source of the many and varied things that MS sufferers have reported about their disability over the years.
It is not as though the idea is new to science and medicine. Angioplasty to relieve blood flow from the brain and / or spinal cord has long been a technique used by medical specialists. Everyone in Canada enjoys the benefit of the angioplasty technique when their doctor determines that it is a way of addressing a medical condition.
People like you and I, people who have been diagnosed with MS, are the only Canadians who are denied the benefit of this treatment. We never thought that labeling us with the words ‘multiple sclerosis’ would amount to denying us access to a simple treatment that thousands of Canadians receive in hospitals every year. If you have a dialysis problem and your doctor thinks that angioplasty might help – like the rest of Canada – you are put into surgery and given angioplasty. You don’t pay for it. You aren’t denied it because you are of limited means. In Canada you rarely have to wait for it.
This simple procedure is denied to only one group of Canadians – those carrying the label ‘multiple sclerosis’. You and I are denied equal protection of the law of Medicare; you are denied equal benefit under the law of Medicare. You and I live and die by our label – ‘multiple sclerosis’ – not even a true disease. We live and die by a word, attached to us and used to categorize us as people that are deemed not to benefit from angioplasty.
Angioplasty in our cases, is categorized by the Ontario Ministry of Health as experimental and unproven and therefore to be denied to us. Everyday some of us get worse and some of us die. The simple procedure has been repeatedly and categorically demonstrated already - in Ontario is deemed by the Ministry of Health to be ‘experimental’ and is therefore prohibited. Doctors now hang up the phone, hospitals - where MS patients are already gowned for procedure, - suddenly produce their chief of neurosurgery to advise us to ‘get dressed – we don’t do that procedure here’. No explanation is given.
Canada doesn’t work like that. Ontario doesn’t work like that. Medicare doesn’t work like that. We are going to try to do something about it.
The sufferers of MS in our organization have retained a lawyer. Edward Conway is an Ontario lawyer, referred to us by Lawrence Greenspon, the renowned Ottawa civil rights lawyer. Mr. Conway explained to us his significant experience in representing patients seeking medical treatment.
Mr. Conway tells us that this is not complicated. Litigation is complicated. But the fundamental point of equality under the law and equal protection of the law is not complicated. It is the spirit of the law and it will be seen by judges in our case.
We are going to court with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was once said to be the most powerful and unknown right brought forward in the law twenty-eight years ago. We plan to make use of it in this case.
The Ministry of Health has its reasons, invalid as they may be, for denying this treatment to MS patients. Rationing is a way of life in a Medicare system. But the decisions that are made are not supposed to be made in a way that simply prohibits one group from a treatment available to all.
Edward Conway has represented MS patients, people with spinal damage, psychiatric disorders, nerve disorders and many other types of people with disabilities over the years. He has used the Charter on many occasions with successes and failures. Charter litigation is not easy. There will be numerous countering legal moves by the parties that become defendants in this case.
We are aiming at the Ontario Ministry of Health. We are aiming at their determination that the label ‘multiple sclerosis’ amounts to a categorical denial of angioplasty. We are saying this is a distinction. It is a distinction based on a disability. It is discrimination. The facts are with us.
In many Charter cases the facts are against the plaintiff. Every Canadian with MS who
has followed recent developments, every Canadian with MS who has already received the procedure and can walk, where they couldn’t walk before, who can stand, where they couldn’t stand before, these people know the facts are with us. We need to show the facts to the judges and we need to do it using section 15 of the Charter.
It is the purpose of Angioplasty for All to educate the MS community and the community at large. The education process will show the MS community what the surgery does and what can be expected of it. Angioplasty for All will advocate for the surgery in the media and in the court. Angioplasty for all will seek to gather the science of angioplasty in a forum that will most efficiently lead to the adoption of the technique in Ontario and in Canada.
Angioplasty for All is a volunteer organization that, as part of its advocacy initiative, is in the process of litigation to put the evidence of the technique to the test in a Charter challenge based on the rights of the disabled.
Angioplasty for All is seeking the financial assistance of multiple sclerosis sufferers and the general public. The litigation advocacy process needs to be funded. It is estimated that the filing process could cost $10,000 per month. The plaintiffs in the case will have to retain experts in the field. We know the experts and we are confident of being able to retain them. We need to factor in the cost of retaining experts which we estimate roughly at $5000 for the first couple of months.
Corporate Name: 7593066 Canada Inc.
Head office: 80 Overton Crescent Unit #1
Director: Diana Price
Director: Brian Light
Director: Tim Donovan
A bank account has been established for the corporation at the Royal Bank of Canada at Don Mills and Lawrence in Toronto, Ontario. If you feel that you wish to participate and assist this cause we urge you to donate as soon as possible. The litigation should be commenced immediately if a result is to be seen as soon as possible.
Please make all cheques or money orders payable to '7593066 Canada Inc.' All donations should be mailed to Diana Price (one of the directors of this organization) at the address below. Direct deposit can be made at any Royal Bank - However, it must be in "cash" only.
80 Overton Crescent
Diana will deposit your donation into the corporate account. The corporate account will be used strictly to fund the litigation and for no other purpose. No expenses or salaries will come from the corporate account.
Accounts will be transparent to all donors. The monthly statements will be posted for the donors to see our progress. As a donor, you should retain your proof of donation. We do not as of yet have any tax-free or charitable status. Funding that AFA retains after the litigation shall be held by AFA pending a majority vote of directors of AFA. The directors of AFA shall carry out a webinar meeting where all past donors shall have the right to vote on proposed advocacy spending by AFA. The directors shall follow the direction of the majority vote of the past donors in regards to the future spending priorities of the organization.
DATED this 9th day of July 2010
7593066 Canada Inc.
Angioplasty for All