The Harper government and the Insite flim-flam

I decided not to comment on this today, but here I am. Why do I find this so grating? I think it’s the certitude.

I understand the anger of the writer. Government officials trying to construct evidence to support biases or politically convenient positions is frustrating. It sounds like the RCMP dealt with their concerns in a pretty indirect and dishonest manner.

What I find grating is the assumption that one position is bias-free and has objective truth on its side. Science can only answer the questions it’s asked. I’m willing to cede that Insite’s existence results in fewer ODs, more treatment referrals and fewer discarded syringes when compared to DOING NOTHING.

Doesn’t that beg some important questions? If we’re spending $3,000,000, aren’t there a lot of things we could do to achieve the same outcomes? Who’s to say that those outcomes are the most important, or that they address the most important problems?

Further, the writer never really addresses the questions raised in the opposing papers. He seems to just dismiss them as worthless because they were not published in peer-reviewed journals. Why?

It seems like more political theater–both sides seem to assume the matter is a no-brainer and that anyone who disagrees is brain-dead.