Dear AHPRA: Australian Doctor Resigns Over Covid Ethics Betrayal

Dear AHPRA: Australian Doctor Resigns Over Covid Ethics Betrayal. By An Australian Doctor.

To the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA),

I would like to advise you that I will be cancelling my registration as of today. …

I do not intend to return to the profession at this stage, and I will be retiring approximately 20 years earlier than anticipated. …

I am disheartened and disgusted by the lack of ethics and the sudden widely accepted discrimination running rife in the medical profession in response to COVID-19. …

The health sector (and AHPRA as the regulating body) has allowed itself to be politicised and used as a tool to coerce. …

Fear has replaced compassion. Coercion has replaced consent. …

My first lessons at university were about empathy, respect, medical autonomy and informed consent. I was taught to always include a treatment option to “do nothing”. I was also taught that I need not understand or agree with a patient’s decision, but I am morally and ethically obliged to respect and abide by it.

I cannot accept that public health should come at the expense of an individual’s health. Hearing some of my patients, friends, family and colleagues relay stories about the discriminatory, rude, mean, fear-mongering manner in which they have been treated and continue to be treated disgusts me to my very core. I have heard way too many such accounts. If you have not heard stories like these, perhaps it is time to stop and listen with an open heart and mind. The stories are plentiful. …

I cannot accept that it is okay for health professionals to refuse to treat patients based on their decision to not consent to a medical procedure — especially one that remains a medical trial with no long-term safety data. I cannot believe that elderly patients have had to wait outdoors during winter because they have a mask exemption. I am horrified that a cardiologist has refused to see an unvaccinated patient even though their appointment was to discuss valid concerns about the vaccination due to their cardiac history. Likewise, a skin specialist refused to see a little girl, and a young boy was turned away from a private hospital to have his open head wound repaired because their parents were unvaccinated (both of whom were single mothers).

This is only a sampling of the accounts I have heard.

What is taking place is abhorrent, unethical and inexcusable. ..

I cannot accept that my children or yours need to have a medical procedure to play sports, go to the cinema or work. How can we mandate this treatment when no one can possibly answer questions and concerns about long-term or intergenerational health impacts? The data quite simply does not yet exist. By all means, provide access to it, but the risks are yet unknown. Where there is risk, there must be choice.

I cannot accept that informed consent exists where there is fear and coercion. When a patient arrives for a medical procedure and says they are only having it to keep their job, that is not fully informed consent. Any practitioner who continues with that medical procedure breaches medical ethics. Check the immunisation handbook: it’s right there in black and white.

Most doctors do what APRHA says, if only because if they don’t then they are not allowed to practice medicine and so they lose their income and the career they have trained so hard and long for. Bureaucrats rule.

How on earth did people cope — say a hundred years ago — without bureaucrats to “protect” them?

hat-tip Phil