Roderick Campbell, a dual citizen of Ireland and America, is a member of the cannabis advocacy group Uplift. He tells the story of how medicinal cannabis palliative care helped his dad to die with dignity.
The journal published Campbell’s testimony of how his father was able to relax, laugh, get some sleep and breathe on his death bed one year after doctors had expected him to be dead.
Sailors don’t cry
Campbell’s dad lived to be 89 years old, which is remarkable. It is even more surprising when one considers that he was exposed to large amounts of asbestos and other toxins in the US Navy during World War II. Mr. Campbell Snr died because of pulmonary fibrosis and had severe pain breathing. Although he was really tough and never complained, his sons could see he was in pain.
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Mr. Campbell was admitted to hospital after a series of minor strokes. Doctors gave him a week to live. He had never used cannabis in his life but had nothing left to lose. His sons wanted to ease his suffering. They were fortunate enough to be living in Washington State, where cannabis is legal, so they went to a store, got some CBD salve and some edibles. The turn-around was astounding.
Cannabis palliative care: no unnecessary suffering
Campbell says his dad could laugh, breathe, overcame his pain, and recovered just enough to have a reason to keep on living. He was discharged a few days later, and at home, he lived a year longer even though doctors had given him only a week. He had the chance to take leave of friends and family and didn’t suffer unnecessarily.
Very grateful to cannabis
Mr. Campbell Jnr is extremely grateful for the effect medical cannabis had on his dying dad. Today, he is an avid proponent of medical cannabis. He wants to convince others that cannabis palliative care should be available to everyone who needs it. It makes life worth living till the end and reduces suffering.
Campbell is disgusted that countries such as Ireland are dragging their feet when it comes to medical cannabis. He says they should put policies in place and give patients access.
Campbell says that calls for further research before introducing medical cannabis legalization are nothing but an excuse. After all, medical marijuana was introduced painlessly into communities much larger than Ireland. The world didn’t come to an end. People didn’t all start smoking weed for fun. All that happened is that some governments didn’t know what to do with the extra revenue they earned.
Campbell says he can’t see why medical cannabis legalization is not happening, and the only reason he can think of is that Big Pharma is blocking it. These companies produce opioids, and Campbell points to research showing a clear reduction in opioid use after medical cannabis palliative care and treatments were allowed.
Opioids for the dying: why not cannabis?
It’s ironic that governments allow doctors to prescribe highly addictive opioids to the dying, but don’t allow the option of cannabis palliative care. There’s no evidence that marijuana causes any harm, and even if it did, anything that eases the passing of the terminally ill should surely be welcomed.