Parents of 12-year-old N.S. girl beg province to let her try cannabis oil
Brent and Chantelle Oulton say their daughter, Morgan, has run out of options and are begging the province to allow her to try cannabis oil.
Twelve-year-old Morgan was born with brain abnormalities and diagnosed with cognitive impairment. She also suffers from both severe epilepsy and autism.
“Our biggest fear is that the next seizure is going to be it,” Chantelle said Thursday.
Nine months ago, the Oulton’s realized that they could no longer property care for their daughter and she was placed in a small options home in Yarmouth, N.S.
“Words can not describe how it felt to realize we can no longer provide a safe environment for our daughter and the 24-hour care and supervision that she needs. You can’t help but feel like a failure as a parent,” Chantelle said.
Morgan has been given a prescription to try cannabis oil as an alternative treatment, but is unable to access it because she is in the care of the provincial government.
Morgan is in the government’s care because in order for her parents to get her into the small options home, they had to give up partial custody.
The Oultons are begging the government to change the law, giving Morgan the option to try the drug.
“We don’t know whether it will work. We don’t know whether anything we’ve given her will work but ultimately yes, we hope that … it will cure her epilepsy. It has for some children, it has completely stopped those seizures,” Chantelle said.
Advocating Parents of Nova Scotia say the law is outdated and needs to be changed so that parents can have a say in what treatment their child receives.
“In this case, the Department of Community Services is using a one size fits all model of care that doesn’t always have the best interest of their client and their care in the forefront,” APNS member Brenda Hardiman said.
Hardiman says this is the first time in Nova Scotia she has heard of the government not allowing a recommended medical therapy for a child in care.
“The Department of Community Services has not provided the family with reasons why they are overriding recommendations from their pediatric neurologist and from the Cannaboid Medical Clinic’s position,” Hardiman said.
The Department of Community Services was in contact with the Oulton’s this week and gave them three options:
- Hand over complete custody of Morgan to the small options home she is currently living in
- Take back some of their legal rights and allow them to have a say in their daughter’s medical treatment, although any decision they make would have to be agreed upon by the group home
- Take their daughter home and resume caring for her on their own
Morgan’s family says caring for her on their own simply is not possible at the moment because they can’t provide her with the specialized 24-hour care she requires.
The Oulton’s have launched an online petition to try and pressure the government to allow children in care to have access to prescription cannabis.
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