REGINA, Saskatchewan, April 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A training course for social workers put out with oversight from the government of Saskatchewan seems to approve of sedating “highly anxious” individuals with intellectual disabilities so they can be given a coronavirus vaccine, without their consent. A government worker worried about the lack of clarity regarding the need for consent leaked the presenation to LifeSiteNews.
An April 1 presentation jointly created by the Government of Saskatchewan and by Inclusion Saskatchewan (INSK), a non-governmental, community-based organization, teaches social workers how to work with “individuals with diverse needs” in order to obtain their consent to receive a COVID vaccine.
“INSK made a Plain Language Supported Decision Making document to help guide conversations with individuals as they make a decision about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine,” a slide in the presentation states. “People should provide informed consent where possible,” another slide states.
The course was put together by government employees Berit Pugh and Hayley Huartson, both from the Ministry of Social Services. It was also put together by Megan Wells, Director of Inclusion for Inclusion Saskatchewan.
The presentation encourages using “supportive techniques” and creating a positive environment for those with intellectual disabilities who might be opposed to taking the jab. “Have music going, coffee and donuts afterward, or celebrate by sharing photos with loved ones,” the presentation states.
Near the end of the course, the use of sedation is floated for individuals with disabilities who are “highly anxious” and opposed to receiving needles.
The following question is posed on slide 29 (view slide here): “What about the use of sedation?”
Notes beneath the slide indicate that sedation can be used. There is no mention of obtaining consent.
“If people regularly need sedation for procedures, this may be considered for the vaccine,” the notes state.
“Some people do not get flu shots, even with the most creative approaches, accessible health education, and amazing emotional support provided from their preferred people simply because the fear of needles is so high,” the notes continue.
“These individuals are often the ones who also need to get hospital dental work under general anesthesia, etc, and my only faint hope for these individuals to be immunized is that by the time their next hospital dental date comes up (every 2-4 years), we may be able to request a vaccine dose be given at the same time.”
LifeSiteNews reached out to the province’s Health Minister Paul Merriman by phone and email for clarification on whether consent from individuals with disabilities would be required before they are given a COVID vaccine while sedated for other medical interventions. No response was provided.
LifeSiteNews also reached out to Inclusion Saskatchewan for comment with no response.