UK: Families of Epileptic Children Demand Access to Medical Cannabis

Parents of children with intractable epilepsy will protest in front of the Parliament and petition the Prime Minister
02 November 2021
2 min read
UK: Families of Epileptic Children Demand Access to Medical Cannabis

A group of campaigners demanding that the Department of Health and Social Care eases restrictions on medical cannabis for epileptic children will stand on Tuesday before the Parliament and the DHSC and deliver a petition to No 10.

The United Kingdom legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes in 2018 which gave doctors the right to prescribe the whole plant extract for children with severe forms of epilepsy. However, only three eligible children have an NHS prescription for the medicine while many others have so far been denied the treatment.

A Life-Transforming Medicine

The End Our Pain group that is set to gather outside the Parliament on Tuesday plans to use a digital poster van showcasing the physical changes in children who have been lucky enough to be treated with cannabis.

Hannah Deacon whose son Alfie is one of the three children with an NHS prescription said that the treatment had changed his life dramatically. Formerly, the boy had about 150 life-threatening seizures a week. Now, thanks to the cannabis extract, he has been practically seizure-free for over 500 days.

UK: Families of Epileptic Children Demand Access to Medical Cannabis: Mother hugging her son

Being seizure-free means a huge improvement in the quality of life.

Rare forms of pediatric epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome and several others, are currently incurable and lead to many developmental disabilities. The campaigners argue that the potentially life-saving treatment with either a CBD-rich Epidiolex or a whole-plant cannabis extract should be available to every child with these conditions.

Medical Cannabis Program Still Not Working

Joanne Griffiths is one of the activists who call on the Department of Health to guarantee access to medical cannabis for every epileptic child. Her son Ben is eligible to receive a prescription but has been denied it.

Ms. Griffiths said that she and other parents had spent three years campaigning, marching, protesting, and having countless talks with health officials. However, the medical cannabis program in the UK still doesn’t work. She calls for the government to end their financial and emotional struggles.

UK: Families of Epileptic Children Demand Access to Medical Cannabis: A pipette dropping cannabis oil into a bottle

CBD-oil is an effective treatment for childhood epilepsy.

Commenting on the situation, the Department of Health and Social Care said that they did what needed to be done back in 2018 when they allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis-based drugs. Now, it’s up to medical professionals to decide, case-by-case, whether the use of a medicine is safe and effective.

Medical Disclaimer

This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.


02 November 2021