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June 21, 2021

Informed consent and vaccinations

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In response to Asren Pugh (Letters, 24 July) you can’t question vaccines without throwing medical sense out the window. You can question vaccines and still be discerning about the source and its scientific literacy.

However, when your ability to question vaccines is censored, shouted down and labelled, or when your ability to make an informed choice is manipulated or made under duress; that is the true danger.

I draw your attention to the unlawful restrictions AHPRA places on medical practitioners surrounding communicating vaccine risks.

Let’s look at pregnancy. AHPRA requires midwives to promote vaccination during pregnancy. Midwives can be reported and prosecuted if they provide information such as: ‘safety and effectiveness of (vaccine) have not been established in pregnant women’, or ‘there are no adequate and well-controlled studies of (vaccine) in pregnant women’; even though these statements are taken from the product inserts of vaccines used in pregnancy.

What you are witnessing is the relabelling of informed consent as ‘misinformation’. Here, you see the practitioner leashed, and vaccination promoted on ‘misleading, misrepresented, and incorrect information’. This line of corruption runs from product manufacture, through policy, and ends with the patient.

The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) is performing a critical role in capturing real stories of vaccine injury. Perhaps watch a few, because if the facts have changed, wouldn’t you want to know?

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  1. OMFG again? No rational person could or should take the AVN seriously!
    The AVN are a bunch of flat earth nutjobs promulgating scaremongering and misinformation.

    Court rulings have found the AVN to not be a credible health information provider. They were ordered by the courts to change their previous deliberately misleading name, have been banned from fundraising due to the dishonest nature of their representations. The AVN has been unable to successfully defend ANY of their claims in court, and in some cases the poor misunderstood martyrs were found by a court to be knowingly and deliberately spreading outright lies! The original debunked UK research linking vaccination to autism promoted by the AVN has been completely discredited numerous times and described as scientific fraud, with the pin-up boy Dr Wakefield, since found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the UK Medical Board. Didn’t matter to Meryl & the AVN, as his views are all they have.

    The Health Care Complaints Commission, the NSW Dept Fair Trading, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the NSW Office of Liquor and Gaming, have won every action taken against them, and AVN lost every subsequent appeal in the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal. AVN could not defend even ONE of those cases, consistently failing to be able to substantiate their stories of children injured by vaccines. Nothing they promote is based on any clinical diagnoses. That is not medicine and not science. There is no debate.

    A few years back, Dr. Di Natale, former leader of the Australian Greens introduced a motion calling on the AVN to disband and cease its campaign against vaccines, which was passed unanimously by the party in a bid to distance themselves from any suggestion they sympathise with AVN.

    The only worthwhile sentence in this whole defence of AVN diatribe that makes sense is the final one, and in agreeing with it, I point out there are enough real scientists, real qualified doctors and real qualified health professionals conducting, real monitoring and real research, reviewed then published in real, authoritative, respected medical journals, for the sane world to completely disregard any of AVN’s fervent anti-vaxxer proselytising or anything else Meryl Dorey publishes from her kitchen that is not a cookbook.

    Nina, put your own child at risk as a conscientious objector if you want, but do it without trying to force your insane and baseless views on others. Then maybe try getting your information from experts in their respective fields. Just as with climate science, opinions from the unqualified are not evidence, and do not deserve any serious treatment.

  2. There are two universal truths relevant here:
    1 Vaccination saves lives.
    2 Anti-vaxxers tell lies.
    There is no debate.
    AVN is an abhorrent organisation repeating myths and lies, as proven by multiple courts and tribunals.
    AVN has no place in any factual scientific medical discussion.

    And back to the point of Asren Pugh’s original letter, AVN propaganda bullsh!t should have no place in our beloved Echo.

  3. Good point, the AVN doesn’t conduct debates, it conducts feuds and vendettas. If your basis for questioning vaccines relies upon “evidence” from the AVN, then I suggest you had best get vaccinated.

    Asren Pugh’s letter questioned The Echo’s judgement in accepting advertising from AVN. And rightly so. The Echo doesn’t appear to accept advertising from industries renown for their lies, misinformation and public harm like tobacco, asbestos and fossil fuels. The Echo knows the deceptions in those industries have been repeatedly exposed by science and courts. The Echo knows, or surely should know, that AVN has similarly been exposed by the science and courts.

    So I googled your implausible claims about the AHPRA (Aust Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) which regulates professional standards, behaviour and accreditations for ALL health practitioners across the industry. In typical anti-vaxxer fashion, you have distorted and misrepresented their position!

    Nurses and midwives are NOT at risk of prosecution for “providing information about vaccines to patients such as reading the inserts of vaccines to patients”. What utter nonsense!! Restrictions only apply to publishing misinformation and social media use. The insert is the product description and directions for use.

    In summary, Yes, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NWBA, under the umbrella of AHPRA), did publish a position statement in 2016 about nurses and midwives who promote anti-vaccination to patients and the public which contradicts the best available scientific evidence. All registered nurses, enrolled nurses and midwives are required to practise in accordance with professional standards set by the NMBA, including the Codes of Professional Conduct, Codes of Ethics, and the Standards for Practice, in particular the Social Media Policy and the Guidelines for Advertising Regulated Health Services….. so, just the same as most workplaces, more so considering anti-vax propaganda undermines public health programs which nurses and midwives are supposed to be implementing.

    If a nurse or midwife is promoting anti-vaccination material and is reported to the AHPRA, the NMBA investigates to consider whether they breached their professional obligations. Any published anti-vaccination material and/or advice which is false, misleading or deceptive which is being distributed by a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife (including via social media) may also constitute a summary offence under the National Law and could result in prosecution by AHPRA. If the NMBA decide to take action on a nurse or midwife’s registration they can issue a caution, accept an undertaking or impose conditions which limit their practice in some way. If a nurse or midwife’s registration is restricted, this will be published on the public online register of practitioners.

    If you want to question vaccines, then as you say, be discerning about the source, use experts and facts, and not opinions, myths and deliberate lies perpetuated by the deluded AVN.

  4. It is unethical to approach medicine as a one size fits all matter.
    Babies are not all born as robust as each other, and individual immune systems respond differently to toxins, based on many factors, including existing health conditions.
    To sacrifice just one child for the flawed argument of benefit to the many, is criminal.
    No-one is preventing you from choosing to vaccinate yourself.
    If you believe in the efficacy of vaccines, then you need not fear catching something from those who choose differently, based on their quite different experience and research.
    Also, it takes 7 to 20 years to develop a vaccine, yet the covid vaccine will be rushed through in much shorter time, with us as the experimental guinnea pigs for their long term community based study of the effects.
    If you wish to be that guinnea pig, go right ahead.


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