Tackling the Opioid Crisis

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 17:00to18:30
Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 312, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The Research Group in Health and Law welcomes Louis Letellier de St-Just, Caroline Hosatte-Ducassy and Nicholas King, for a conversation about the health, social and legal issues surrounding the opioid epidemic, as well as possible steps to deal with this crisis moving forward. This event is bilingual.


Opioids are drugs with pain relieving properties that are prescribed for a number of conditions, often for pain-relief. They can also be produced or obtained illegally. The misuse of, and addiction to, opioids has become a national public health crisis. Overdoses and death caused by opioids continue to rise with a reported 3,987 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2017, according to the Government of Canada. The crisis is also putting increasing pressure on the country’s health care systems. In November 2016, the Canadian Minister of Health brought together health partners to commit to joint action to address the Opioid Crisis. This past month, the British Columbia government launched a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies in the opioid industry for downplaying the risks of opioids.


Me Louis Letellier de St-Just est avocat en droit de la santé et cofondateur et actuel président de CACTUS MONTRÉAL, le premier programme d’échange de seringues en Amérique du Nord. Il est membre du conseil d’administration du Réseau juridique canadien VIH/Sida et a été l’un des procureurs impliqués dans l’affaire INSITE devant la Cour suprême du Canada. Chargé de cours à la Faculté de médecine de l’Université de Sherbrooke au sein de son département de toxicomanie, il s’intéresse particulièrement à la question du changement des politiques en matière du contrôle des drogues et les droits humains.

Dr. Caroline Hosatte-Ducassy, who graduated from Université Laval's Medical School in 2015, currently completing her emergency medicine residency at McGill. She has always been interested in organizational, medicolegal and ethical issues and therefore completed in 2018 a master’s in health law and policy at the Université de Sherbrooke. Her final essay dealt with the role of prescribers in the current opioid crisis, a daily challenge encountered in the emergency room and first line medical practice.

Dr. Nicholas B. King is an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Ethics Unit and an Associate member of the Institute for Health and Social Policy and Dept. of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University, where he also directs the Policy and Data Science program. He has written on the ethics and determinants of, and policy responses to increasing opioid-related mortality.

Accreditation has been requested from a recognized provider for 1.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education for jurists.

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