March 2, 2021

Cayman: Statement from the Chief Medical Officer

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Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee,

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee, has received the judgment of the Honourable Mr Justice Robin McMillan, and thanks him for this.

Dr Lee wishes to state that at all times in the function of his duties, he has acted in what he believed to be the best interests of the Public.  In the matter at hand, he sought legal advice and consulted with both the Health Practice Commission and the Registrar of the Department of Health Regulatory Services amongst others.  He was not called to court to give evidence in person.

Professor John Britton, expert witness for the Government, stated as follows:

“I therefore consider the Cease Notice issued by Dr Lee to be an appropriate, proportionate and necessary response to a potential serious risk to public health.”  Additionally, Professor Britton said, “In my opinion it would have been negligent for any chief medical officer, faced with this situation, not to act quickly and decisively to prevent the widespread use of these and any other THC vapes in Cayman; and to sustain that action at least until the cause of the US epidemic had been determined, and reassurance provided that any THC product legally on sale in Cayman posed no EVALI risk to the Cayman population.” EVALI stands for ‘e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury’.

When asked for comment, Dr Lee said, “At all material times I acted in good faith in the public interest for the protection of Public Health”.

Notes:

At the time of his report, Dr Britton held the following positions:

Professor of Epidemiology and Director, UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Nottingham

Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust

Chair, Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group

Chair, Public Health England Tobacco Control Implementation Board

Member, MHRA/Commission on Human Medicines e-cigarettes expert working group

END

For related reading go to: CNS story posted 16 Nov 2020 – ‘Email ‘proves’ conspiracy in Doctors Express case” at CNS

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