Two New Zealand specialists have entered a blazing debate on prescribing medical marijuana for pain, proving the issue continues to polarise the health sector.
Paul Hardy, Capital & Coast DHB clinical leader pain management says New Zealand doctors should prescribe medical marijuana for pain, while Auckland Regional Pain Service specialist Tipu Aamir warns against it. Their debate features in the Back to Back section of the June issue of the Journal of Primary Health Care.
Dr Hardy says it would be wrong not to prescribe cannabis for neuropathic pain.
"Given that we have an available, effective treatment for a disabling condition [neuropathic pain], where no other treatment exists, not to prescribe may be considered to be unethical, even negligent," he says.
"New Zealand doctors should not only be allowed to prescribe cannabis for pain, but ought to be doing so, both for practical and ethical reasons," Dr Hardy says.