Health-care professionals fight decision to reject access to psilocybin for training – CTV

March 29, 2023

Canada violated the rights of hundreds of patients awaiting access to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy when it rejected applications from health-care professionals to consume the restricted drug for training purposes, a lawyer for the workers argued in Federal Court on Tuesday.

But Health Canada argued it hasn’t seen evidence that therapists ingesting the psychedelic trains them to provide more effective treatment.

The health workers’ lawyer, Nicholas Pope, said there aren’t enough health-care professionals licensed to provide psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and Health Canada’s decision means patients may have difficulty accessing therapists offering the treatment.

Pope and Health Canada made their arguments as part of a request for a judicial review of Health Canada’s June 2022 decision that denied applications from 96 health-care professionals to possess and consume psilocybin — the psychedelic compound produced by magic mushrooms — as part of training to obtain a licence to prescribe the drug.

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