Being Against Medical Coercion Has Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Being "Anti-Vax"
David Thunder / May 17
ONE OF THE recurring issues we have been confronted with since the Covid vaccines came on the market under Emergency Use Authorisation¹ has been the concerted effort of journalists and public leaders to depict any questioning of vaccination policy whatsoever, whether ethical or scientific, as rooted in an irrational hostility to vaccines in general, or in a regressive, conspiratorial mindset.
This has made it next to impossible to have a rational discussion of the risks and benefits associated with the various Covid vaccines, and it has also made it very difficult to get a fair hearing for objections to the various forms of vaccine coercion that emerged over the course of the second year of the pandemic.
I can vividly recall one occasion upon which, after admitting that I had not received a Covid vaccine, I was accused by a doctor in the room of being “irresponsible” and told I should keep my mouth shut rather than speak of matters upon which I knew nothing.
Strikingly, that particular doctor was not a vaccine expert, knew nothing about my own personal trajectory, and had no idea upon which authorities, studies, or information I had based my decision to decline the vaccine.
His response, though rather shrill, reflected a general societal prejudice to the effect that those who decline any Covid vaccination, or question its net benefits for any demographic, including the young and healthy, are scientifically backward and are a danger to public health.
So let me set the record straight: yes, I believe that informed consent must remain at the core of medical ethics, and yes, I believe in individualised medicine, meaning that the risks and benefits of a vaccination, like any other medication, must be freely and openly assessed by each patient in consultation with their doctor.
But neither of these commitments makes me an “anti-vaxxer.” It is sad that I should have to clarify this, and symptomatic of how twisted our understanding of medicine has become.
But since the insinuation of being “anti-vax” hangs in the air every time someone raises the slightest doubt about campaigns of mass Covid vaccination, it is important to set the record straight.
How have we reached a point at which perfectly reasonable ideas like individualised medicine and informed consent are associated with irrational opposition to vaccination in general? The answer is clear: The ethos of public health has become corrupted from within, probably with plenty of encouragement from interested actors such as Big Pharma who want to sell as many vaccines as possible, governments with vested interests in maximising vaccine uptake, and Big Tech who are happy to suppress just about any voice that deviates from the narrative, “vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate…”
How has the ethos of public health become corrupted?
Two areas of decadence spring to mind:
1. First, the abandonment of individualised medicine: traditionally, Western medicine is individualised. That means that the doctor-patient relationship is sacrosanct, and that important medical decisions are made between the doctor and the patient in light of the patient’s full medical history and the risks and benefits posed to this particular patient by a medical intervention.
Perhaps for reasons of public utility, in particular to make the delivery of vaccines more efficient, or to maximise vaccine uptake, the principle of individualised medicine was cast aside. Vaccines were simply administered en masse to the population, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest cohorts.
Given the fact that Covid-19 poses a very small risk of serious, debilitating disease to young and healthy people, and an even smaller risk to children, and given the fact that the risks associated with the Covid vaccines were not yet well understood or adequately tested in a large population (hence “emergency use authorisation”), it was unethical and inhumane to vaccinate the population indiscriminately, and inconsistent with the ethos of individualised medicine.
2. Second, the abandonment of informed consent. Astonishingly, after decades of medical practice informed by the principle of informed consent, numerous international conventions validating the principle, and the ugly lessons of forced medical experiments in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany,² Western governments and societies have effectively nullified the principle of informed consent by imposing a variety of steep penalties on those who decline a Covid vaccination, ranging from constant border testing, to exclusion from public venues like restaurants and theatres, to the complete withdrawal of travel privileges.
Many healthcare workers and carers were fired for refusing to vaccinate.
All of this was supposedly justified by the demands of public health. But these coercive measures went completely against the idea that patients should be trusted to assess their own risks and make an informed decision about whether a medication is or is not appropriate for them, and imposed poorly understood medical risks on perfectly healthy people.
Sadly, those who have bravely defended informed consent and individualised medicine, and opposed indiscriminate and coercive vaccination on these grounds, have been unjustly caricatured and maligned as “anti-vaxxers.”
They have been removed from their jobs, jeered at by friends and relatives, censored on social media and treated as irresponsible delinquents.
How ironic that those defending the traditional pillars of Western medicine, without which trust in the public health establishment, and trust in vaccines, will be put in jeopardy, are depicted as the enemies of vaccines and a threat to public health!
I am pro-vaccination, pro-informed consent, and pro-individualised medicine. If someone cannot understand how these three commitments go together, they should take a close look at the history of public health up to 2019.