A Helping Hand: Legal Issues Related to Assisted Injection at Supervised Injection Facilities

A Helping Hand: Legal Issues Related to Assisted Injection at Supervised Injection Facilities
According to the current legal framework and professional guidelines in Canada, safe injection facility (SIF) staff cannot assist clients in the administration of their drugs and SIF clients cannot help each other inject. However, recent evaluations show that the HIV prevalence rate for people who require assistance when injecting illegal drugs is double that of those who do not, raising serious public health concerns. Women are more than twice as likely as men to require assisted injection and twice as likely to report not knowing how to inject as the reason for requiring assistance.

This paper considers the prohibition on assisted injection in SIFs through the lens of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and suggests that the ban may run afoul of the prohibition on discrimination and the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

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