Alfie Dingley, who was at the forefront of a campaign to legalise the prescription of medical cannabis, is once again at odds with the medical community as doctors are “too frightened” to prescribe him his now legal medication.
Alfie has a severe form of epilepsy which can result in him having up to 30 seizures per day, but his cannabis-based medicine, which he had a license to be prescribed even before the change of law came in June of this year, keeps the seizures at bay.
But now mum Hannah Deacon is being forced back into campaigning after Alfie’s license was revoked, and doctors are refusing to prescribe him with the drug.
In her change.org campaign, Hannah said: “For two months Alfie has had a special exemption license because medical cannabis was illegal. But now it has technically been legalised the Government have said he doesn’t need the license anymore – they say a doctor can write him a prescription like any other medicine.
“But I can’t find a NHS doctor in the country that will grant Alfie his medication, even though they know he needs it, because the guidelines for when doctors should prescribe medical cannabis are so restrictive.”
Speaking to Sky News, medical cannabis expert Professor Mike Barnes claims that doctors are so hesitant to prescribe the now-legal drugs as there is no strong evidence that they can help with chronic pain, and has advised that it should only be prescribed when surgical intervention is not possible.
In a Facebook video, Hannah said that the 17 families she is helping are all in a similar situation, being told by their doctors that they will not help by prescribing the medicine, or that they are “terrified of being put up at the GMC.”
“It is just a disgraceful situation that doctors can find themselves in and they’re too frightened to do the right thing by their patient,” she said.
An NHS spokesperson told Sky News that the change in law meant specialists could prescribe cannabis-derived medicines for a “small number” of patients where there is strong evidence that they could benefit.Get your copy of UNITE Magazine
Image: Change.org/Hannah Deacon