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RVH won't conduct procedure on MS patient


Barb Farrell is waiting, almost against hope, for someone, the right one, to change their mind.

She was about to receive angioplasty treatment in Barrie. But the procedure was cancelled two days before it was to happen.

The mother of a 10-year-old boy has spent the past month at Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital.

She has lost most of her physical abilities and now survives through the use of a feeding tube.

Talking, swallowing is difficult. Her husband, Patrick, has lobbied anyone who will listen.

"I demanded, under compassionate grounds, emergency angioplasty," he said Wednesday afternoon, shortly after talking to hospital officials. "They told me ... they'd have to decline.

"I don't know what to do."

Farrell said they have tried drugs, exercises, whatever they could, but her condition decline. After the angioplasty procedure was cancelled, her condition got worse and she remains in a specialized hospital bed.

Dr. Russell Price, interim chief of staff at RVH, said those at the hospital have carefully deliberated over the issue of treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis during the past three days.

Meetings with the hospital's ethics and medical advisory committees took place Wednesday.

"The recommendation was we would not provide this procedure to MS patients in the absence of research," he said. "It's not even being provided anywhere in Canada."

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