Treatment Denied - morality in action

Research on the health and community impacts of insite has shown that the safe injection site has prevented hundreds of deaths due to overdose and has reduced the frequency of needle sharing. I find it confusing that the government would shut this service down when it has been diligently demonstrated to be beneficial. The refusal of the safe injection service seems to be rooted in a moral judgement that people engaging in risky behaviours should suffer the consequences of their actions. However, there are all sorts of activities that Canadians engage in which are hazardous to their health and that the health care system addresses with no questions asked.

I wanted this film to get across the absurdity of refusing treatment to people that require it based on moral judgements. The skiing accident scenario seemed appropriate as an analogy because skiing is a recreational activity that is unnecessary to participate in that causes numerous major injuries to people each year, certainly costing the health care system a lot of money. This is not meant to be an attack on skiing, but should hopefully make the viewer consider their own reliance and expectations of the health care system.

This film was produced as part of a short intensive course in filmmaking at Pull Focus Film School. The concept for the film was solidified in about a week and within another week, the screenplay was written, the actors cast, and the film was shot. We took another two weeks to edit.

Guest post written by Gennifer Meldrum

Check out the film on the Pivot Youtube channel

Interested in the future of InSite? On Tuesday, May 17 Pivot and SFU are hosting Health, Harm Reduction and the Law at SFU Woodwards
Film by
Gennifer Meldrum
Gaye Bissett
Christopher O'Brien
With help from
Michaelin McDermott
Peter Wrinch
Catherin Falkner
Mohit Anand