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The Ethics of the Relationship between Patient and Doctor within Cannabis Treatment

Presentation of Dr. Ilya Reznik on Cannafest Prague 2014.

The use of marijuana, botanically known as cannabis, for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years. However, since 1940 marijuana was included to the list of controlled substances and its circulation (in any form) was made illegal and prohibited. The process of demonization of cannabis use, disinformation of population and lack of proper education and training for health care professionals continues till now.  

The denial of physician’s right to prescribe an effective therapy to their patients, the one that relieves their pain and suffering, is a direct violation of the physician-patient relationships. The patients expect a full disclosure of all possible treatment options from their physicians, so that they can make informed decisions regarding their health. We—the clinicians—have the full medical and legal responsibility to provide an adequate relief from both pain and suffering, in order to provide our patients an acceptable quality of life, taking care of their mental and physical health.

The failure to offer available therapy that has proven to be effective, violates the basic ethical principle of non-malfeasance, which prohibits the infliction of harm, injury or death and is related to the maxim: ”primum non nocere“ (“above all, or first, do no harm“), which is used to describe the primary duties of physicians. To allow any patient to suffer needlessly, when this suffering can be relieved, means direct harm to him or her. Rapidly accumulated from the recent research, modern scientific data have shown that the benefits of medical marijuana far outweigh the burdens. However, there is an obvious need for continued research both in regards to maximizing marijuana’s therapeutic effects and minimizing its adverse effects and for proper education and training of healthcare professionals.

Your are cordially invited to the annual conference at Cannafest, the international trade fair of cannabis and medical herbs that will take place on November 10-12, 2017 at the Prague Exhibition Holesovice. The conference presentations will be simultaneously interpreted into English and Czech.