The medical use of cannabis led to the seizure of a 12-year-old boy in Ireland. Billy Caldwell, who suffers from epilepsy, is placed “under hospital arrest” due to illegality of cannabis use at home in Northern Ireland.
The young boy suffered from more than 100 seizures a day until the physicians found cannabis oil treatment as the only solution. Having been hospitalized for more than three weeks at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Billy returned home in Northern Ireland this week.
The home country, however, granted the use of Cannabis oil for treatment under the sole condition of its administration in a Belfast hospital. The child whose life relies on the drug was, thereupon, made to be hospitalized in N. Ireland.
Co Tyrone, where Billy’s home is located, is two hours far from the Belfast. Besides, the boy needs the drug twice a day which means he has no other choice than staying in the hospital. As Charlotte Caldwell, the child’s mother says, “Billy has effectively been placed under hospital arrest.”
The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has refused to release Billy’s meds, which have to stay at or near a hospital in Belfast, for the duration of Billy’s treatment, which is basically for the rest of his life – or until somebody sees sense. This is completely at odds with the view of the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, which said he could go home, and the Home Office, which recommended he did.
For more than a year, Billy had no seizures while using Cannabis oil. Following running out of the drug in June, he was banned to receive more by the Home Office. The child mother’s effort to bring a stock-pile drug from Canada was also in vain as it was confiscated at the airport.
This controversial case, along with some others relying their lives on the drug, instigated intense debate on the necessity of its legalization for medical use in recent months.