Major New Statement on Medical Freedom
By: Brownstone Institute
This letter has been signed by Dr. Rachel Corbett, Dr. George Fareed, Dr. Melanie Gisler, Dr. Brian Hooker, Dr. Pierre Kory, Dr. Katarina Lindley, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Peter McCullough, Dr. Liz Mumper, Dr. Meryl Nass, Dr. David Rasnick, Dr. Richard Urso and hundreds more physicians, scientists and medical professionals.
The original authors are Michael Kane and Meryl Nass, M.D., and it is being distributed by Children’s Health Defense. Medical and scientific professionals can sign the letter, which is a basic statement of principles that should be at the core of medicines but which have been sidelined or violated since the beginning of the crisis.
There is no scientific rationale for continuing any COVID-19 mandates in 2023 and beyond.
Mask and vaccine exemptions must be offered at the discretion of the physician and patient as opposed to one-size-fits-all government edicts.
Parental rights and decisions must be preserved to ensure the health and well-being of their children.
The ability of medical professionals to speak freely to their patients and the public must not be compromised.
Informed consent is the basis of medical ethics. Shared decision-making is a model of the patient-physician relationship that is considered the most desirable by both the US and UK government health establishments. Patients want to make their own medical decisions, and they have the legal right to do so. They expect their physicians to share knowledge with their patients to inform the best choices.
The corollary to informed consent is that medical decisions ought to be made by individual patients based on their individual situation and personal best interest. ‘One-size-fits-all’ medicine is incongruent with these principles. It denies informed consent and personal autonomy.
During the last three years, we have experienced unprecedented interference with the doctor-patient relationship by the government. Considerable financial incentives were paid to medical industries and medical providers to offer certain treatments and to refuse others.
When financial incentives did not achieve universal vaccination, mandates were imposed. One way this was done was by requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers whose employers received Medicare payments after we had learned that vaccinations did not protect patients or coworkers from infection.
Grants to school districts were conditioned on mask mandates in schools. These newly imposed incentives, and punishments for noncompliance, fly in the face of long-established medical ethics, especially informed consent and shared decision-making. They must end.
There is general agreement that all available COVID-19 vaccines fail to prevent viral transmission and only briefly reduce cases. After several months, people who are vaccinated become more susceptible to COVID-19 infections than the unvaccinated. Therefore, mandates for COVID-19 vaccines are scientifically and logically indefensible.
In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adapted its guidelines for managing COVID-19, quietly suggesting that both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans should be treated identically with respect to isolation, quarantining and testing. Yet the CDC continues to exhort Americans to receive more COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and supports federally imposed vaccine mandates.
Essentially everyone in our country has been exposed to COVID-19 by now, and nearly everyone has been infected at least once. We can anticipate that the US will continue to face evolving COVID-19 variants, but we can also anticipate that COVID-19’s severity will keep weakening over time.
Yet patients and doctors are still not permitted to choose the COVID-19 therapies best suited to each patient. Mandates must end, and patients and doctors must reassert their human and legal rights to determine the medical care each patient receives.
Vaccine and Mask Exemptions
Patients are individuals. They experience different risks from vaccinations and may have medical or psychological issues that preclude safe masking. Pretending that these differences don’t exist is denying reality. Historically, doctors were able to issue waivers for masks and vaccinations, as they were considered to have the best knowledge and judgment to issue such waivers.
Although every state by law accepts that doctors can issue medical waivers for vaccines and masks, many health and education departments have started nullifying these waivers, superseding physician authority. States have also been investigating and punishing doctors for issuing medical waivers. It appears that federal and state governments want to make themselves the arbiters of these medical decisions. This must not stand.
States decide on the age of consent, and until that age is reached, parents are wholly responsible for their children, with a few limited exceptions. But during the past two years, we have seen a dangerous trend. State requirements that parents must consent to vaccinations given to their underage children are being ignored in multiple jurisdictions. This happened in Washington, DC, for children ages 11 and older by order of the Mayor and City Council. The law they passed kept the fact that their children had a medical procedure secret from the parents. While Congress, which oversees the law in the District of Columbia, could have said no, it instead failed to act. A lawsuit challenging this law was won in November 2021, so the law no longer stands in DC.
However, in Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA and Kings County, WA, the local health officers issued guidelines in early 2021 allowing local medical providers to vaccinate children as young as age 12 without parental permission, which still stand.
This is a dangerous usurpation of parental rights by local public health authorities. It also violates state and federal law. Furthermore, there has been a recent accompanying trend by ‘medico-legal’ professionals to assert in published journal articles that 12-year-olds have the maturity to decide on their own medical procedures.
Most states don’t allow children to consent to use tanning salons or get tattoos below the age of consent. To bypass parents and allow underage children to decide what gets injected into them is inconsistent with state laws, medical ethics, common sense, and optimal medical care of children. It needs to end.
Free Speech for Medical Professionals
An attack on the free speech of doctors and medical scientists is being waged across America today. While controversy is inherent in scientific advancement, and scientific knowledge continuously evolves, disagreement with the federal public health recommendations has led to draconian censorship and suppression. Doctors have been investigated, lost their specialty board certifications, and even lost their medical licenses for speaking out publicly against federal guidelines.
Yet no health authority is infallible, and the COVID-19 pandemic proved this. In fact, both the World Health Organization (WHO), NIH and CDC changed their COVID-19 policies, guidelines, and recommendations numerous times throughout the pandemic.
The suppression of medical professionals’ speech is illegal, according to the First Amendment and state statutes, and must immediately end.
This letter continues to be signed by medical professionals and scientists around the world. View the growing list of signatures.
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