Alfie Dingley suffers from up to 30 debilitating epileptic fits every day of his life, so why are the British government blocking him from revolutionary medical cannabis treatments?
Alfie is only six years old, but has already suffered in his short life more than most adults, having been diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy that causes daily seizures. Even though Alfie’s mom, Hannah Deacon, wants to use medical cannabis and CBD, which has helped her son greatly in the past, the UK Home Office won’t even listen to her pleas for help.
According to the Home Office, medical cannabis ‘cannot be practically prescribed, administered or supplied to the public’, and that means that little Alfie’s daily seizures are continuing, unabated for the time being. According the family’s lawyer, Salma Budhani, there is a legal provision for medical cannabis in the UK, as the Home Secretary can make “individual exceptions.”
Nevertheless, a Home Office statement on the matter read: “We recognise that people with chronic pain and debilitating illnesses are looking to alleviate their symptoms. However, it is important that medicines are thoroughly tested to ensure they meet rigorous standards before being placed on the market, so that doctors and patients are assured of their efficacy, quality and safety. Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 drug, as in its raw form it is not recognised in the UK as having any medicinal benefit and is therefore subject to strict control restrictions.”
Just last September, Alfie’s mom took him to Holland so he could be prescribed a cannabis-based medication by a paediatric neurologist, and saw his seizures reduce in number, duration and severity. Even in the face of that conclusive evidence the Home Office still shut their ears, letting Alfie continue to suffer from his condition without any light at the end of the tunnel.
Alfie’s grandmother, Maggie, spoke to reporters about his plight, “Alfie has gone from a death sentence to the prospect of a more normal life with school, friends and fun, in his own familiar home. We want the people who have the power to give him this gift to put themselves in the position of Alfie’s family, to think creatively and with open minds and to find a way forward. Above all we want compassion to find a way round inflexible rules.”
If you want to help Alfie you can do your bit and sign the online petition set up for his cause HERE.
[Image Credit: Twitter]