When you visit your physician, you hope to be given unbiased information that will best support your health — nothing less, nothing more. If a physician is unable to speak freely, this independent relationship between doctor and patient ceases to exist. In the past, illegal marketing, gifts and bribes from drug companies were frontrunners in eroding doctors’ integrity — and patients’ trust in them.
Now, with censorship in the name of COVID-19 ramping up to unprecedented levels, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), which regulates the practice of medicine in Ontario, has issued a statement prohibiting physicians from making comments or providing advice that goes against the official narrative.
Actor Clifton Duncan shared the Orwellian message on Twitter, urging his followers to “Read this. Now. And then share it as much as you can.”1 Because, equally as disturbing as the notion of publicly dictating to physicians what they’re allowed to say, is the fact that, as Duncan said, the statement has a glaring omission, “The health and well-being of the patient.”2
CPSO Warns Physicians Not to Speak Their Minds
According to CPSO, physicians in isolated incidents have been spreading “blatant misinformation” via social media, which is undermining “public health measures meant to protect all of us.” To explain, the CPSO released their “Statement on Public Health Misinformation” on April 30, 2021, which reads:3
“The College is aware and concerned about the increase of misinformation circulating on social media and other platforms regarding physicians who are publicly contradicting public health orders and recommendations.
Physicians hold a unique position of trust with the public and have a professional responsibility to not communicate anti-vaccine, anti-masking, anti-distancing and anti-lockdown statements and/or promoting unsupported, unproven treatments for COVID-19.
Physicians must not make comments or provide advice that encourages the public to act contrary to public health orders and recommendations. Physicians who put the public at risk may face an investigation by the CPSO and disciplinary action, when warranted.
When offering opinions, physicians must be guided by the law, regulatory standards, and the code of ethics and professional conduct. The information shared must not be misleading or deceptive and must be supported by available evidence and science.”
While threatening physicians with investigation and disciplinary action should they speak out regarding the many inconsistencies and questions surrounding pandemic lockdowns, masks and COVID-19 vaccines, CPSO had the gall to add that it’s not intending to stifle healthy public debate about how to “best address aspects of the pandemic.” “Rather, our focus is on addressing those arguments that reject scientific evidence and seek to rouse emotions over reason,” it added.4
But clearly, CPSO has already outlined which “arguments that reject scientific evidence” it’s referring to: anything “anti-vaccine, anti-masking, anti-distancing and anti-lockdown,” which is better described as anything that dares question the official COVID propaganda narrative.
It should be noted, too, that in order to practice medicine in Ontario, physicians are required to be CPSO members. One of CPSO’s central responsibilities is in the area of investigations and discipline, as it responds to public complaints about Ontario physicians, referring them to a discipline committee “if necessary.”5
‘Unethical, Anti-Science and Deeply Disturbing’
Clapping back at CPSO’s blatant overreach, a group of Canadian physicians sent out a declaration to the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons at various provinces and territories across Canada, as well as to the public, describing CPSO’s statement as “unethical, anti-science and deeply disturbing.” They wrote:6
“As physicians, our primary duty of care is not to the CPSO or any other authority, but to our patients. When we became physicians, we pledged to put our patients first and that our ethical and professional duty is always first toward our patients. The CPSO statement orders us to violate our duty and pledge to our patients …”
Three primary reasons were given in the declaration that show why CPSO’s statement runs contrary to physicians’ oath to protect their patients above all else:7
1. Denial of the Scientific Method — Vigorous debate by those holding opposing views has been central to scientific progress throughout history. CPSO orders physicians to put scientific method aside and silences open debate. “Any major advance in science has been arrived at by practitioners vigorously questioning “official” narratives and following a different path in the pursuit of truth,” the declaration states.8
2. Violation of Physicians’ Pledge to Use Evidence-Based Medicine for Their Patients — Physicians pledge to seek out the best evidence-based science and advocate for it on their patients’ behalf, but CPSO asks physicians to violate this pledge and only express pro-lockdown views.
They write, “This tyrannical, anti-science CPSO directive is regarded by thousands of Canadian physicians and scientists as unsupported by science and as violating the first duty of care to our patients.”9
3. Violation of Duty of Informed Consent — Censoring health information of any kind, including vaccine information, violates the Nuremberg code,10 which states, “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential,” and specifies that in order for the subject to be able to make an informed decision, “all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation” must be disclosed.
Informed consent simply isn’t possible if potential hazards and drawbacks are censored. The Nuremberg Code was drafted to prevent the horrific experiments performed on humans in Nazi concentration camps from ever occurring again, but CPSO is ordering physicians to “violate the sacred duty of informed consent.”11
‘A Watershed Moment in the Assault on Free Speech’
The declaration ends by telling CPSO to withdraw its April 30 statement, with which the physicians state they will never comply:12
“We physicians believe that with the CPSO statement of 30 April 2021, a watershed moment in the assault on free speech and scientific inquiry has been reached. By ordering physicians to be silent and follow only one narrative, or else face discipline and censure, the CPSO is asking us to violate our conscience, our professional ethics, the Nuremberg code and the scientific pursuit of truth.”
It’s encouraging to see pushback against tyrannical efforts. The Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), written by infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, also highlighted grave concerns over lockdown measures implemented during the pandemic, and, as of May 20, 2021, had collected hundreds of thousands of signatures in support.13
The GBD authors, along with a team of academics, researchers and subject matter experts, are now publishing a regular analysis of the global impact of COVID-19 restrictions, called Collateral Global.14 The reality is lockdowns have caused a great deal of harm from delays in medical treatment and disrupted education to joblessness and drug overdoses.
Opioid overdose fatalities nearly doubled during the stay-at-home order in Cook County, Illinois, compared to a 100-week period in 2018 to 2019, rising from 23 deaths per week to 44, for instance.15
A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults also revealed that 1 in 6 Americans started therapy for the first time during 2020. Nearly half (45%) of the survey respondents confirmed that the reason they considered therapy was the COVID-19 pandemic.16 Meanwhile, serious questions remain, with evidence suggesting lockdowns weren’t effective.
Even the World Health Organization wrote in 2019 that during an influenza pandemic, quarantine of exposed individuals, entry and exit screening and border closure are “not recommended in any circumstance.”17
Likewise, in 2021 a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation found no significant benefits on COVID-19 case growth in regions using more restrictive nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closure orders (i.e., lockdowns).18
Data compiled by Pandemics ~ Data & Analytics (PANDA) also found no relationship between lockdowns and COVID-19 deaths per million people. The disease followed a trajectory of linear decline regardless of whether or not lockdowns were imposed. Yet, this is the type of information that CPSO is forbidding physicians from talking about with their patients.
AIER: ‘Nothing Short of Horrifying’
The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) also spoke out against CPSO’s censoring of physicians, calling it “nothing short of horrifying” and adding:19
“Although there are certainly concerns about the spread of falsehoods and conspiracy theories in the age of Covid-19, this sort of broad censorship of speech from practicing medical professionals is not only an ethical sham but anti-science.
The practice of science is premised on the rigorous application of the scientific method which among other things requires falsifiability and debate. The move to silence doctors also flies in the face of liberal democracy — something that has been deteriorating around the world as both the public and private sector move to silence dissent.”
Equally disturbing is that CPSO’s move isn’t unique to Ontario. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia issued a similar warning to physicians, stating that they could be investigated and penalized if they say something against public health orders or official COVID-19 guidance.20 And it’s not only physicians who are being censored, either. Academics are also being punished for teaching outside of the COVID box.
Take professor Mark Crispin Miller, who has taught classes on mass persuasion and propaganda at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development for the last two decades.
After challenging students to investigate current propaganda narratives surrounding mask mandates, Miller was placed under conduct review for spreading “dangerous misinformation” — one of three key propaganda strategies used to suppress academic and scientific inquiry. Miller fought back, suing 19 of his department colleagues for libel after they signed a letter to the school dean demanding a review of Miller’s conduct.21
Censorship and Surveillance Go Hand in Hand
Big Tech censorship, which oftentimes filters out or blocks all but one viewpoint, is also pervasive, such that even your Google searches are canned. Many also aren’t aware that, while the internet is viewed as a tool to promote the dissemination of information, it was built by the government as a tool to spy on citizens.
If you’re interested in learning more about the little-known beginnings of the internet, I encourage you to read the book “Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet,” by Yasha Levine.22
Levine, an investigative journalist, reveals that the internet began in the Vietnam era and was used to spy on guerrilla fighters and antiwar protestors, “a military computer networking project that ultimately envisioned the creation of a global system of surveillance and prediction.” What’s more, the military surveillance objectives that underpinned the internet’s development are still in force today.23
The more data that Big Tech gathers, the more it gives them the unprecedented ability to predict the type of messaging triggers that will create the maximum amount of fear — and thus compliance.
A key solution will be decentralized platforms that not only virtually eliminate censorship but also foster privacy and free speech, the latter of which must also be fervently protected when it comes to discussions between you and your doctor.