Cut off your own leg, or we’ll cut it off for you!

Cut off your own leg, or we’ll cut it off for you!  This is the choice given to Nanaimo by the Provincial Government.

This might be understandable if we had a life threatening infection shown by incontrovertible evidence.  But this is not the case.  From the start this issue has been first raised and then promulgated on the basis of perceived danger without the benefit of definitive analysis.

Imagine if you went to the hospital and after looking at the rash on your leg, the physician said, without performing further tests and analyses, that it needed to be amputated .  This is basically the circumstance with the handling of the Colliery Dams from its inception.  Somebody decided that the dams were old and, on that basis, needed amputation . When the patient remonstrated and another physician was consulted, it turned out that age wasn’t a major problem, it was decided that the problems was with the circulatory system and the leg might be overwhelmed by fluid and still needed amputation or at least major surgery. No circulatory expert was consulted and no direct testing of this condition was undertaken.

No testing was done to indicate that anything more that a salve or band-aid was required for your leg, yet the head of the hospital demands that you choose the kind of operation to be done on it.   What are you to do?  You have two choices: You can say, “Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full sir.”, or you can say, “You will have to do it against my will as I refuse to undergo surgery until its necessity has been scientifically demonstrated.

As seen at last night’s Council meeting we have two “teams”, one of which favours the former response and the other the latter.  We will see next week which will prevail.  In the absence of sufficient analysis of the problem, I favour making the province perform the work that they deem necessary and sending us the bill.  This puts the onus on the agency claiming mastery.  I do not wish to be an instrument of my own mutilation without definitive reason.

When this situation is resolved, one way or the other, it will be time to reflect on how we got to such a state over such a long period of time and at such cost without definitive information.  As one expects to find in any emergency, the first step is to get the information needed for an adequate diagnosis.  Why this was not done in this, and I would suggest, in other costly City cases, needs to be understood and remedied.