Piers Akerman’s piece on the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

Piers Akerman has written a piece on his Daily Telegraph blog on the Kings Cross Medically Supervised Injecting Centre at this link.

I twice tried to leave a comment on his blog, but both times received the error message “You are not authorised to do that action” when I pressed the submit button” (I wonder what you have to do to be “authorised”?!) 

Here is the comment I submitted to the blog:

Piers, as someone who has submitted mathematics papers to journals for publication, I know the importance of peers reviewing work. Non-experts don’t know if the authors of the review used a sound methodology, nor if they did a proper analysis. I am in favour of evidence-based public policy, and proper reviews of any public policy are extremely valuable. The “review” mentioned in this piece may be valuable, but non-experts have no way of judging this (eg judging its methodology).

Given that the conclusions of this review are at odds with many people think, it is important that people who are able to judge its methodology do so before the review is used as a basis of public policy.

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11 Responses to Piers Akerman’s piece on the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

  1. Cameron Herbert says:

    A quick check on google of the report referred to in the Akerman column suggests that the authors of that report column are representative of the usual conservative types who oppose the MSIC. Joe Santamaria is associated with various conservative Catholic groups (wonder whether he’s related to Bob?), Stuart Reece spoke at the launch of Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats in Queensland, and is a former Liberal candidate for Brisbane Council. Which is not, of course, enough basis for discrediting their arguments against MSIC, but at least indicates where they are likely to be coming from.

  2. Sacha says:

    You’ve jogged my memory about Stuart Reece – I remember that he ran (and maybe still runs) a clinic in Brisbane which was trialling/using Naltrexone to stop people being addicted to heroin. There was a lot of controversy about it, but I don’t remember why.

  3. Darlene says:

    I’m not sure that Reece’s clinic lasted beyond the controversy. Mmmm, not sure.

    Your comment was far too learned for Piers’s blog, which is very, errr, low-brow.

    What’s happening on “Model” now. I don’t have even have a TV at the moment.

  4. Sacha says:

    You don’t have a TV? That’s very unOstrayan of you!

    Will give an update on Idol shortly (maybe tonight when I’m at home).

  5. Darlene says:

    Oh no, you’re obviously, gasp, working today.

    No TV. I am unOz indeed. Should be deported.

  6. Sacha says:

    “Darlene Taylor, explain yourself to the House UnOstrayan Activites Committee!”

    Yes I’m working today – and having to put effort into it (bloody hell!). It’s been an odd day. Will explain more later on.

  7. Cameron Herbert says:

    See extract below about Stuart Reece from today’s edition of Crikey

    Corroboration of the Cabinet level enthusiasm for the treatment comes from another doctor who advocates the experimental naltrexone implants, Brisbane’s Dr Stuart Reece. “I’m aware that the senior people in the government support us strongly at an ideological level.”

    In lengthy evidence to a current parliamentary committee inquiry into illicit drugs, being run by Bronwyn Bishop, Reece suggested one of the biggest problems at the moment was a disease called “drugs, s-x and rock and roll.” As part of his evidence, Stuart Reece cited Sodom and Gomorrah, the Biblical cities destroyed by God for their immorality.

    Reece’s testimony then suggested Australia’s civilisation was under threat of being destroyed by the scourge of injecting rooms, give-away syringes, and methadone. These of course are the well-established strategies of “harm minimisation”, the approach that underpins the way Australia deals with the dangers of illicit drug use. In contrast to his attacks on harm minimisation, Stuart Reece spoke reverentially of the work of Dr George O’Neil, and the immense value of the still unproven naltrexone implant.

  8. Sacha says:

    ‘ In lengthy evidence to a current parliamentary committee inquiry into illicit drugs, being run by Bronwyn Bishop, Reece suggested one of the biggest problems at the moment was a disease called “drugs, s-x and rock and roll. ‘

    Reece is about 50 years too late!

  9. Sacha says:

    “As part of his evidence, Stuart Reece cited Sodom and Gomorrah, the Biblical cities destroyed by God for their immorality.”

    Impressive evidence-based testimony there.

  10. Firesnake says:

    Hello,

    Great to see a sibling synapse. I podcast a little and as a large part of this role, respond to the fallacious claims made by Drug Free Australia and the very dangerous Stuart Reece, now joined by “miracle cure” Dr. George O’Neil as seen on Today Tonight.

    I comment quite a lot in this episode on the naltrexone implants and Dr. God;

    http://firesnake.org/index.php?post_id=237967

    Also, Akerman won our CPDCT award [clear and present danger to critical thought] for writing that piece;

    http://firesnake.org/index.php?post_year=2007&post_month=05

    I’m finalising a site specific to the attacks on public health and promotion of religio-superstition and creationism. They have been widely condemned for attacks upon Harm Minimisation in parliament and yes, bizarre claims around biblical prophecy is indeed the norm.

    Some more accurate data may be found here, though the site remains under construction;

    http://members.westnet.com.au/paulgall/dscl.html

    Sadly, Abbott funds these guys quite willingly.

    Also, search for Drug Free Australia or ‘Reece’ at unbelief.org

    On ya Sachi. Great stuff.

    Gags.

  11. cdv1971 says:

    Don’t know if you’re interested or not, but I just posted a review of Stuart Reece’s recent paper in BMC Immunity & Ageing. Didn’t know anything about his political bent, But one of the take home messages of his work is that naltrexone may be useful for addiction treatment. The results are pretty dodgy. Check it out.

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