DAVE AGAR

Monday, April 21 Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 4/21/2014 12:00:00 AM

It was last week when the Toronto Star revealed that many Ontario nursing home patients were being given anti-psychotic medications and/or sedatives.

This morning there's a new report, this one commissioned by the Ministry of Health which confirms that if you have a parent in a nursing home, odds are nearly 50-50 that they're being given an anti-psychotic drug.  Roughly 30 percent are given sedatives such as lorazepam or diazepam and 15 percent are required to take both.

One of the co-authors of this study, Tara Gomes told the Star the findings warrant further investigation to find out why.

The other co-author, Doctor David Juurlink says anti-psychotic drugs and drugs such as lorazepam both have a sedative effect and sedation comes at a price...including people falling,  bedsores, blood clots and potentially fatal reactions to those medications.

Doctor Juurlink thinks too many doctors are going overboard.

So if you have a parent in a nursing home...especially between the ages of 65 and 79 and you see they have bedsores or they've had a fall,  ask questions including what drugs are being administered to your loved on because a fall, for example, could be a death sentence for some elderly patients...and bedsores are painful.   These people deserve more respect than that, but as I said last week when the Star investigation surfaced, there are no easy solutions to this but perhaps we can begin with a plea to doctors...think twice before you print out a script just to keep people calm.

HURRICANE CARTER

If you were around during the O.J. Simpson murder trial the name Barry Scheck may ring a bell.  He was on the Simpson dream team...the DNA expert.

These days Scheck is Director of the Innocence Project and as such worked closely with Ruben "Hurricane" Carter over the years.   Carter died yesterday here in Toronto at the age of 76, the result of prostate cancer.

Carter spent nearly 2 decades in prison for murder before a judge overturned the verdict and he was set free.

Barry Scheck says once he was free, his friend was never bitter over what happened to him.   Scheck says Ruben overcame that bitterness the day he got out of prison.

BOSTON MARATHON

It feels like it was only yesterday when those two deadly bomb explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon shattered so many lives.

Today more than 36-thousand people are entered in the Boston Marathon...9-thousand more than normal including 5-thousand who never got to finish last year's race because of the terrorist attack.

Toronto runner Dan Way is all set to go again.  He's amongst nearly 25-hundred Canadians registered to run.

62-year old Linda Hensman of St. John's was also there last year and is back.

SOUTH KOREA

The president of South Korea said this morning that the way the captain and crew of a ferry acted when the vessel capsized last week is tantamount to murder.

From the viewpoint of common sense, President Park Geun-hye says the captain and some crew members conduct was "unfathomable."

ONTARIO ELECTION?

Did you notice the Kathleen Wynne commercials on the long weekend?  Further proof the Liberals are fully expecting an election soon, probably over the budget 11 days from now.

We've been getting a steady rollout of announcements and our Queen's Park bureau  chief Katie Franzios is being told that this afternoon the Liberals will likely release a progress report on so-called "pocketbook initiatives" the Wynne Liberals and the McGuinty Liberals before them have put forward over the last decade or so.

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