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Confidence through censorship: The (medical) Ministry of Truth

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Originally published on 25 October 2022 in Spectator Australia


On Wednesday, October 12, the Queensland Labor government – with support from the LNP opposition – passed a dystopian and dangerous bill.

The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 refocuses the guiding principles of medicine to prioritise public confidence over public health and safety. It allows bureaucrats to name and shame doctors, a move which the AMA described as ‘incoherent zealotry’.

This bill, if passed by other jurisdictions in Australia, will essentially legislate national medical censorship as a means to ensure public confidence in government health services.

Adherence to the Good Medical Practice code of conduct means that advocating for patients (which is our primary concern) is being overridden by external demands to comply with public health messaging. Our code of conduct is predicated on The Hippocratic Oath, the Declaration of Geneva, and the International Code of Ethics which outlines our dedication to serving humanity: To first do no harm, making our patients our primary consideration.

Political-based medicine has now replaced evidence-based medicine.

History has proven that unquestioning compliance to government directives is dangerous. In 1947, the World Medical Association agreements were formed in the aftermath of the second world war due to the gross systematic human rights abuses which took place under enforced national laws. Tragically, the political currents in Australia appear to be heading towards bureaucratic medical compliance enforced through regulatory threats, soon to be legislative threats.

In 2015, the federal government passed The Australian Border Force Act 2015 which made doctors who advocated for their refugee patients liable to face up to two years imprisonment. Doctors for Refugees challenged this law in the High Court a year later. A major basis for their argument, according to their submission to the Medical Board’s 2018 Code of Conduct review, was that the Code doctors had sworn to uphold and advocate for the rights of their patients could not be overridden by the vagaries of domestic laws.

The government eventually backed down on this law and had that problematic section repealed.

Interestingly, their submission was in response to the Medical Board attempting to insert into the medical code the concerning phrase ‘doctors must comply with relevant laws’. The response to the word comply was fierce as the idea that the medical code of conduct could enforce compliance to political decree was antithetical to what doctors had sworn to uphold.

With the arrival of Covid came the bureaucratic decree through the March 9, 2021 joint statement by AHPRA and the National Boards that made undermining public confidence in the government’s Covid public health messaging equivalent to professional misconduct. Questioning ‘the message’ is now subject to investigation and disciplinary action, including immediate suspension of registration.

Letters received by practitioners who have questioned the government response to Covid are chilling in their implication. After being suspended by National Boards under the immediate action clauses for allegedly being a threat to public health and safety, they are accused of the crime of non-compliance. They are deemed a threat because they failed to comply with public health orders, undermined the Board’s position on the promotion of Covid vaccination, and undermined public confidence because their medical expert opinion contravened government health authorities.

In summary, health professionals are not permitted to question the ‘secret health advice’ without losing their registration to practise.

Consider that in response to Covid, our health bureaucracy overturned the medical industry’s well-researched 2019 pandemic preparedness plans – doing almost the total opposite of what was recommended by health professionals. Interestingly, Dr Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, told employees recently: ‘To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes from testing, to data, to communications.’

In December 2020, the FDA outlined, ‘At this time, data is not available to make a determination about how long the vaccine will provide protection, nor is there evidence that the vaccine prevents transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from person to person.’ Our health bureaucrats, regulatory agencies, and politicians mandated provisionally approved vaccines by telling the population repeatedly that they stopped transmission and people were selfish granny killers if they didn’t get jabbed.

We, as health professionals, are not allowed to question government statements on transmission without losing our registration to practise.

On September 2021, a delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Health rescheduled ivermectin, in effect banning it for use as an off-label treatment option for Covid stating ‘subsection 52E(1) of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, in particular paragraph (f), which empowers the Secretary to act on any other matters that the Secretary considers necessary to protect public health’.

Ivermectin is one of the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines. It was fully approved by the TGA and found to be very safe according to their own 2013 Australian Public Assessment Report for Ivermectin. Two of the reasons the TGA gave for denying Australians access to a drug that showed great promise in the treatment and prevention of Covid-19 was that it was all of a sudden unsafe and its availability might dissuade people from getting vaccinated. Behaviour modification was undertaken, with the TGA appearing to act in partnership with other government nudge units to promote vaccination.

We as health professionals are not permitted to advocate for ivermectin without losing our registration to practice.

In July 2021, as Australians were being mandated through coercive techniques to get vaccinated with poorly tested provisionally approved gene-based vaccines that our Health bureaucrats and politicians repeatedly told us had been proven safe and effective, the TGA was amending the Therapeutic Goods Regulation Act to further reduce the safety and efficacy requirements for any medicine that is for the treatment or prevention of Covid. Not only do manufacturers have six years to provide the government with safety and efficacy data on these provisionally approved jabs, they also no longer have to demonstrate they could provide a greater benefit than other available medicines or that the medicine is likely to provide a major therapeutic advance.

We, as health professionals, are not allowed to question the safety and efficacy without losing our registration to practise.

Recently, the TGA has granted provisional approval to Moderna for the active immunisation and prevention of Covid in high-risk babies and young children. The report concluded the vaccinations had low levels of protective efficacy against infection, they didn’t know how long any efficacy lasted, and while the (Advisory Committee on Vaccines) recommended the provisional approval to children at high risk they noted high-risk children were excluded from the study. Across the world, pandemic policy and guidelines vary. Denmark is no longer recommending vaccination for people under 50, Norway no one under 65, but our regulatory body is expanding approvals to 6-month to 4-year-olds.

We, as health professionals, are not allowed to question this approval without losing our registration to practise.

Whenever governments want to enact laws to suppress free expression, censor and punish dissenters through threats to careers and livelihood, to control public perception as a means of creating confidence through enforced public ignorance, it is time to ask some serious questions.

If this bill passes nationally and the government becomes the single authority on all health advice, then unquestioning compliance becomes the new accepted standard of good medical practice. That is the end of medicine and the death of science. George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth has arrived. Public confidence in politicians and their bureaucrats should never come at the expense of people’s right to full, free, and unhindered access to scientific evidence and emerging data.

The Australian Medical Professionals Society is dedicated to fighting for medical free speech for the safety of those we swore to protect, our patients. Prioritising public confidence in government through censorship has led to what Professor Bhattacharya has said is the single biggest public health mistake in human history. With Dr Aseem Malhotra, a British Cardiologist, recently describing the mandates as ‘perhaps the greatest miscarriage of medical science we will witness in our lifetime’. We must stop medical censorship and allow doctors to be doctors. This bill is dangerous to the future of medicine and the health of our nation.