VANCOUVER - Doctors are hailing a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to keep a safe injection site open in Vancouver so addicts can shoot up drugs under supervision without the chance of dying on the street.
Dr. Patricia Daly, chief executive officer of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, says addiction is a medical issue and treatment is the eventual goal of Insite.
The ruling by the top court means the only such facility in North America can continue operating despite objections by the federal government that it fosters addiction.
Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS, says now that the fate of Insite is no longer in limbo, other cities across Canada can open similar facilities to prevent the spread of disease from shared needles.
The Canadian Medical Association and nurses' groups have also supported Insite, saying it saves lives.
The safe-injection site opened as a pilot project eight years ago and is funded by the B.C. government.