by Ethan Yang |
On April 30, 2021 College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario She released a very controversial statement on what she considers Covid misinformation to be. The CPSO is a regional regulatory body mandated by statute of Exercise licensing and disciplinary power To practice medicine in Ontario. Think of it as equivalent to State Bar Association For US lawyers, except for Canadian doctors. The statement From CPSO It goes as follows,
The college is aware of and concerned about the increase in misinformation circulating on social media and other platforms With regard to doctors who openly contradict public health orders and recommendations. Doctors hold a unique position of trust with the public and You have a professional responsibility for not communicating Anti-vaccineAnti-cloaking data, anti-distancing, anti-lockdown and / or promotion of unsupported and unproven treatments for COVID-19. Doctors should not make comments or provide advice that encourages the public to act Violation of public health orders and recommendations. Doctors who put the public at risk He may face investigation by the CPSO and disciplinary action, if applicable. In expressing an opinion, physicians should be guided by law, regulatory standards, and codes of ethics and professional conduct. The information shared must not be misleading or deceptive and must be supported by available evidence and science.
The CPSO justifies its statement with the following rationale,
“There have been isolated incidents of doctors using social media to spread blatant disinformation and undermine public health measures aimed at protecting us all.”
This development is nothing short of horror. Although there are certainly concerns about the spread of lies and conspiracy theories in the era of Covid-19, this kind of widespread censorship of speech by practicing medical professionals is not just an ethical hoax but an anti-science. The practice of science is based on the rigorous application of Scientific method Which requires, among other things, a possibility of forgery and debate. Moving to silence the doctors also runs counter to liberal democracy – which it has been Deteriorate around the world Both the public and private sectors are moving to silence dissent.
The fact that the CPSO, the licensing authority with state power, has taken such an aggressive step to silence opposition even to lockdown policies is particularly disturbing given that it prevents clinicians from expressing their expertise on such important matters. The Toronto Sun Comments on the accident before writingAnd the
At the moment, there are severe restrictions in Canada. Many doctors have condemned public health orders related to, for example, the closure of basketball and golf courses in Ontario.
Why aren’t doctors out loud about the restrictions they feel are harmful to the health of their patients?
Dr. Sean Whatley, former president of the Ontario Medical Association, wrote in a guest column in Sun. ”
It doesn’t stop in Ontario
One would think that the policy espoused by the CPSO would be a steep deviation unique to Ontario. according to The Toronto Star This practice is seeing more adoption, not less. He. She WritesAnd the
Doctors in British Columbia have been warned that they could face investigation or penalties from their regulatory body if they conflict with public health orders or directives regarding COVID-19.
The warning came in a joint statement from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia and the First Nations Health Authority.
One does not even need to have a strong opinion on this issue to understand that censoring doctors and enforcing compliance with state policy is not only unethical but a direct attack on scientific freedom.
Canadian Doctors Declaration of Science and Truth
In response to the CPSO order, there was a correct response from the Canadian medical community in the form Canadian Doctors’ Declaration of Science and Truth. The advertisement website has a petition signed by more than 4,700 concerned doctors and citizens at the time of writing this report.
The announcement identifies three primary complaints with the CPSO Ordinance.
- Denying the scientific method itself:
- Violation of our pledge to use outsourced medicine for our patients:
- Violating the duty of informed consent
More details and information can be found at Acknowledgment site.
To paraphrase the great human rights activist and Soviet dissident Natan SharanskyWhat it means to be a loyal Soviet citizen is to say what you are supposed to say, to read what you are allowed to read, to vote the way you are supposed to vote, and to know that the whole thing is lying.
It doesn’t take a background in medicine to know that oversight of medical professionals during a pandemic is the last thing that needs to happen. There is no better time than now for a tough debate about the effectiveness of public health measures with the unprecedented and uncertain lockdown policies being imposed on populations around the world.
Some would say that we can have confidence in restoring freedom of expression and that censorship is necessary to hasten the end of the epidemic. This is deeply flawed for two reasons. The first is the idea that Canadian doctors should align with the country’s vision and not question it. Not only is this a violation of their duty as medical practitioners and scientists but it severely paralyzes a healthy public health response. Finally, this move fundamentally conflicts with the values of liberal democracy that are now endangered on a global scale. With the lights of an enlightened and modern civilization appearing around the world, it would be fair to ask, will it ever turn on again in our lifetime?