EVEN IF THOSE MESSAGES CONTRADICT INDEPENDENT RESEARCH ON WHAT IS BEST FOR PATIENTS
Australia’s march toward medical authoritarianism continues.
Doctors are now being told they could face discipline for saying anything that contradicts “public health messaging,” even if what they are saying is “evidence-based.”
They may even face investigations for “authoring papers” that health authorities do not like.
Unfortunately, I am not exaggerating.
Like all physicians, Australian doctors can face disciplinary investigations for medical errors or other problems. In Australia, those investigations are called “notifications,” a nicely Orwellian euphemism. Ahpra, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency, oversees them.
On Feb. 28, a big Australian medical insurer warned physicians that to avoid Aphra notifications, they needed to “be very careful” not to contradict “public health messaging” in social media comments.
But the warning – although first mentioning social media – went even further. It also warned against “authoring papers” that contradicted the authorities’ favored views.
Further, even “views… consistent with evidence-based material” could lead to problems if they contradicted “public health messaging.”
The warning came from the Medical Indemnity Protection Society, which provides professional insurance coverage for doctors. Although these insurers do not speak officially for government agencies, doctors effectively cannot practice without professional insurance, so their pronouncements are powerful.
In other words, only a very brave physician in Australia would consider offering advice that’s not “consistent with public health messaging” anytime soon.
No worries, though, the public health authorities know best!
"A new California bill threatens to strip doctors of their medical licenses for saying things the state doesn’t like." – by Jay Bhattacharya – Prof of Health Policy, Stanford Unversity School of Medicine. Health policy, infectious disease epidemiology – https://t.co/3SvkDTINNK
— Marc Morano (@ClimateDepot) April 24, 2022
Jay Bhattacharya – Professor of Health Policy, Stanford Unversity School of Medicine. Health policy, infectious disease epidemiology,
Bhattacharya April 12, 2022 excerpts: More on California bill: A proposed California law threatens to make such dissent career-ending by handing the state the power to strip medical licenses from doctors who disagree with government positions on Covid.
This forced scientific groupthink—and the fear and self-censorship they produce—are bad enough.
According to California Assembly Bill 2098, physicians who deviate from an authorized set of beliefs would do so at risk to their medical license.
The Bill is motivated by the idea that practicing doctors are spreading “misinformation” about the risks of Covid, its treatment, and the Covid vaccine
It declares that physicians and surgeons who “disseminate or promote misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines” shall be subject to “disciplinary action,” which could result in the loss of the doctor’s medical license.
Doctors, fearing loss of their livelihoods, will need to hew closely to the government line on Covid science and policy, even if that line does not track the scientific evidence.
What is abundantly clear is that this bill represents a chilling interference with the practice of medicine. The bill itself is full of misinformation and a demonstration of what a disaster it would be to have the legislature dictate the practice of medicine.
The ultimate effect of the bill will be to chill public criticism by California doctors of mistaken government public health diktats since few will want to put their licenses in the hands of the very public health officials with whom they disagree over the interpretation of science.
History provides abundant examples of what happens when the state regulates science. In the former Soviet Union, Stalin’s favorite geneticist, Trofim Lysenko, dominated biology and the agricultural sciences. Lysenko rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of his own theory that plants could inherit acquired characteristics. Stalin empowered him to destroy the careers and lives of geneticists who opposed him, causing many to suffer secret arrests and even death. When his theories failed, the consequence was mass starvation in Russia. The Chinese Communists also adopted his beliefs—at the cost of the starvation of 30 million.
We are not the Soviet Union, of course, nor are we ruled by Chinese Communists. California lawmakers thankfully do not have the power currently being exercised in Shanghai. But this bill follows the same dangerous principle that government-authorized science should permit no opposition from people with the credentials and knowledge to oppose it
The false medical consensus enforced by AB 2098 will lead doctors to censor themselves to avoid government sanction. And it will be their patients, above all, who will be harmed by their silence.
Also see WSJ
& LA Times on this issue.
Russell Brand weighs in here:
Update August 2022: California seeking similar rules:
If passed, CA Bill 2098 would punish docs who deviate from forced scientific group think. Physicians giving uncensored advice to patients may face career ending punishment. Doctors, use your free speech rights to oppose the bill while you still have them!https://t.co/32pLA5PMsr
— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) August 24, 2022
For the skeptics – here’s the latest version of the Bill https://t.co/ZhRKuXXMxW
— KayLo (@kaylohr) August 24, 2022
It's of course MUCH worse with doctors, but this is the same basic concept that climate scientists have faced for years – they are forced to go go with the narrative or face career-ending consequences. This is dangerous and MUST not be allowed!
— RightMovingGirl (@RightMovingGirl) August 24, 2022