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Censorship in Medicine – a dangerous choice

A dangerous choice is being exposed alongside the COVID-19 pandemic – and that is the choice to censor doctors and scientists with views that dissent from the mainstream narrative. Not only are their views and opinions being censored, but they are losing their livelihood, being forced to resign and being removed from positions of leadership, influence and power.

In Ireland alone, I am aware of 3 doctors and 1 scientist who have been hung out to dry for daring to share views around the pandemic that are different, opposing or challenging to the prevailing narrative.

Dr De Brun a GP in Ireland is under investigation by the Irish Medical Council and threatened with suspension because he spoke at a rally in Dublin against lockdowns and masks for all and advocates for a more focused approach that protects the elderly and the vulnerable. Apparently, according to the Irish Medical Council this is undermining the public health message and hence is considered a risk that may warrant suspension.

Yet, the WHO itself did not advocate masks initially and it currently does not advocate lockdowns unless in extreme circumstances of health services being totally overwhelmed. The WHO has stated, “We in the World Health Organisation do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus” and has advised leaders to stop using them. Such a stance by the Irish Medical Council is basically saying, ‘people are stupid, they cannot be trusted to follow regulations, they cannot discern for themselves and have no right to do so – they must only hear one view, our view.’ It is depriving people of their God-given right to discern the evidence, opinions and arguments that are shared.

Whilst we are all duty bound to follow the law and regulations that does not mean we cannot submit arguments exposing their flaws and advocate for a different way. This is one way we progress and bring about change, be it in law or medicine or science.  

The idea that there is only ever one view in medicine is naive and frankly ludicrous – the medical journals are filled with articles that debate and discuss back and forth over many topics in medicine and science.

Anyone who has had a hangover knows alcohol is not good for their body – but we don’t see doctors being suspended who drink alcohol even though it could be said they are undermining the public health message that alcohol harms. The same could be applied to doctors who smoke or are obese – are they too not undermining the public health messages around smoking and obesity? Are they not misleading the public in their behaviour and setting a bad example that is harming to public health? Indeed, the harms caused by alcohol, smoking and obesity are themselves pandemics with high rates of morbidity and mortality causing more long-term damage, costs and destruction than COVID-19.

Dr Martin Feeley was forced to resign his position as Clinical Director in Dublin Midlands Hospital Group after advocating for protection of vulnerable groups and lifting of widespread restrictions or lockdown for all. He advocates for focused protection for those at risk and to allow the young and healthy to move about freely and live their lives.

Dr Pat Morrisey has had to step down in his position as chairman of ShannonDoc in Limerick for speaking at a rally in Dublin against masks, saying he had treated patients with hydroxychloroquine with benefit and being critical of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NHPHET) in Ireland.

Dr Dolores Cahill, an immunologist and molecular biologist, was removed from her position as vice chair of a European scientific committee for her forthright stance against lockdowns and masks and being pro hydroxychloroquine and the use of vitamins to support people’s health and help prevent and treat COVID-19.

But this phenomenon isn’t just confined to Ireland. In the USA senator Scott Jensen, a family doctor is also under investigation by the medical board in Minneapolis having been accused of spreading mis-information and giving ‘reckless advice’ about COVID-19.  He had highlighted issues with death certification alleging it was being inflated and made a comparison between influenza and COVID-19 that was deemed misleading and exposed that in the USA there was a financial incentive for inflating the numbers of COVID-19 as hospitals got more money for those with COVID on ventilators.

Another Senator commented that “Legislators should not have to fear regulators based on their speech. If the bureaucratic state can silence speech through investigations, we have very dark times ahead for our democracy.”

Videos of doctors speaking out against lockdown or advocating hydroxychloroquine have been removed from YouTube. Indeed it seems that pretty much any videos or articles that offer alternative views or advocate certain treatments about the pandemic, how it arose, why it arose, who or what is behind it, what their agenda might be are rapidly being removed from YouTube and Facebook and deemed to be mis-information or conspiracy theories. Using the term conspiracy theory is just a way of dismissing and denigrating something we disagree with, without providing any evidence for the same.

The Great Barrington Declaration signed by over 23,000 doctors, nearly 10,000 medical and public health scientists and over 400,000 citizens advocating for focused protection for the elderly and vulnerable has also been censored by Reddit. There are multiple reports on twitter that Google is also censoring it and /or making it difficult for people to find it, though the experience seems to be variable.

(I said it was variable because yesterday when I searched it was top of page one and at variance with others reports – but today as I finish this blog it is near bottom of page two on Google).    

So Facebook, YouTube and Google are now the arbiters of truth and science? On what grounds? What are their scientific credentials?

This isn’t about whether we agree or disagree with the scientists and doctors, whether their arguments are valid, accurate, true, founded on science or not – it is about the censorship of alternative views simply because they do not adhere to the mainstream narrative.

This is a dangerous move and choice to make and is perhaps more dangerous ultimately than COVID-19 itself, for if it is allowed to prevail it will squash not only a full and transparent debate about how to handle this pandemic, but all innovation and progress in medicine and science and walk us into a new dark age of authoritarianism, oppression, dictatorship, tyranny and fascism.  Indeed, it seems we have already walked straight into it and if allowed to continue it will set back growth, progress, innovation, the evolution of medicine and mankind.

 

“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all – except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.” JFKennedy

Freedom of expression is a human right protected by Human Rights Act HRA and European Convention on Human Rights. Scientific debate is part and parcel of science – we need difference, we need challenge, we need people who are prepared to question the prevailing narrative or how else do we progress?

Medicine grows and evolves by having differing views, opinions and scientific debate so that in the process arguments are refined, studied and as new evidence comes to light our understanding deepens, new treatments emerge and we progress.

History is littered with examples of doctors and scientists who have brought new understandings to the table – only to be rejected, vilified, chastised and ostracised – before eventually having their work confirmed, validated and accepted.

It seems we have not learnt from our past.

As Schopenhauerstated: “All truth passes through three stages – first it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self-evident.”  We would do well to remember this when considering minority views. The heretical view not uncommonly turns out to be true and becomes the orthodoxy.

A simple example pertinent to today’s contagion is that of Dr Semmelweis who lost his job after advocating for hand-washing to reduce the risk of infection in women giving birth. The importance of handwashing is something we all know today and is a core part of current public health messaging around Corona virus, but it was initially rejected by the medical fraternity of the day. So what today are the medical and scientific mainstream hierarchies rejecting and people losing their jobs over that in years to come may become the accepted way? 

We should welcome challenge and contrary views and not fear or suppress them – if they are not true then expose why, and if they are shown to be true, then we should be humble enough to acknowledge that and welcome the progress. Those who care about people want the same thing – the minimum loss of life at least cost to all – and there are valid arguments to be had about the best way to achieve that and we will only discover what those are by keeping open minds and hearts and hearing and assessing all views and appraising the facts and evidence.

At the same time, we need to be aware that things are not always as they seem and that there are behind the scenes corrupt forces seeking supremacy and control fuelled by greed and who do not care for the wellbeing of all.

This unprecedented degree of censorship is more typical of autocratic dictatorial nations and not supposedly more enlightened Western democracies. But perhaps the known dictatorships are actually more honest than what is currently going on in Western democracies where the abuse and the supremacy are not just from the leader at the top but manifest in manifold ways by the many in the name of ‘good’ and ‘democracy’ – and are all the more evil because it is disguised under those umbrellas whilst having the same stench as the evil we can see in plain sight.

One has to question why? Why choose to censor alternative scientific views? Why choose to remove videos that offer a different understanding? In a healthy democracy or field of science and medicine there is always room for more than one view – it is indeed fundamental to progression and evolution. The need to shut-down, restrict, oppress and censor stinks of fear – fear of exposure, fear of being found out, fear of people awakening and seeing through the lies, the deceit and the corruption at play.

One of the reported agendas backed by Big Pharma and oligarchs is for mandatory vaccination – but that requires there to be no other effective treatment. Whilst I am not here advocating for any one treatment over another – it makes sense that those same forces will do what they can to squash any reports of other treatments or supplements that may be effective lest it should get in the way of their agenda for mandatory vaccination and the massive financial rewards and more that go along with that.

It is up to us to form the society we want. For every dictator there is the one or the many who submit and acquiesce to that dictator. Saying nothing, doing nothing gives free reign to the forces that want to rule, control, dictate, suppress and oppress and so we have a choice to roll over and submit or to say no, enough, not on my watch.

Collectively the medical and scientific professions need to speak out against this tyranny and oppression and squashing of scientific debate – even if we do not agree with the views, we need to stand for the right for those views to be expressed if we truly value and respect the rights of every human being as well as the scientific endeavour.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Joseph Barker
    15th October 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Living with lies is the biggest factor in ill health in this world. It’s no wonder that drs especially are starting to speak up as they appreciate more than anyone, that without the truth people will continue to be hurt and their lives impaired and any care and treatment they offer will be for nought. Thanks Eunice for sharing your part.

  • Reply
    Doug Valentine
    20th October 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Well said. It needs to be discussed that there is no longer a freedom of expression allowed in the scientific community without the fear of losing one’s livelihood. What is happening in a so called free and democratic society is almost unbelievable, except it’s true. If we do not stand up against this censorship in serious numbers the world will become a very dark place.

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