Call For Doctors To Be Barred From Practicing Is Insanity
The call by New Zealand Medical Association chair Alistair Humphrey for medical professionals who have not been vaccinated to be barred from practicing smacks of the Dark Ages thinking that called for witches to be burnt at the stake.
At a time when our health system is facing unprecedented challenges, when there is a desperate shortage of doctors, nurses, and other health staff, the call by the NZMA and other doctors for hundreds of medical staff to stand down beggars belief.
Dr Humphries’ statement that “the consequences for a doctor getting Covid is not only that they spread it into the community, but they also may transmit it to their vulnerable patients" if they’re not vaccinated is in direct contradiction to that of Council of Medical Colleges Chair Dr John Bonning.
On TV3 News last night Dr Bonning said “The vaccine won’t stop you completely getting the illness and it won’t stop you spreading the illness”.
They can’t both be right.
Even the Prime Minister and the Director General of Health have publicly voiced the same view as Dr Bonning.
The consequences of doctors or other people transmitting the virus clearly apply whether they are vaccinated or not.
Dr Humphries is at odds with the science and a large chunk of his own medical establishment.
It seems a precedent was set less than 160 years ago which caused Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, to drummed out of the profession.
Dr Semmelweis raised concerns about why hundreds of women in maternity wards, and numerous pathologists, were dying from puerperal fever — commonly known as childbed fever.
He discovered it was because doctors and nursing staff did not thoroughly wash their hands between operations, but the medical establishment would not listen to him and he lost his job.
They eventually did, to the extent that today, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says it is one of the most important ways to prevent hundreds of thousands of hospital patients getting infections each year - infections that can be deadly and hard to treat.
The NZMA call flies in the face of the first principle of the Hippocratic Oath which calls on medical professionals to first do no harm.
Leaving patients without medical staff is not doing them no harm.
It tramples on the absolute right of patients to seek the kind of medical care that they deem appropriate for themselves.
None of those medical professionals who have chosen not to be vaccinated themselves, or who have raised concerns about the vaccine, would refuse to help their patients get vaccinated if that was their choice.
Medical professionals spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours studying the very best of scientific and medical literature and passing the most stringent of exams in order to practice.
They are not the kind of people whose thinking is informed by watching conspiracy theory videos on the dark web deep into the night.
They are people who study the latest in published medical literature from across the world to stay up to date and who make clinical decisions every day based on that data, but those clinical decisions are not always the same.
The latest reports from countries like Israel, the United Kingdom, and others show the effectiveness of vaccination is wearing off within a few months and is the reason why boosters are now being rolled out to try and maintain any protection it may have delivered.
Those reports are detailing how thousands of people who have been vaccinated are catching Covid-19 in a further wave.
Alistair Humphrey's call therefore defies scientific thinking, defies the very basis of the Do No Harm principle of medicine, flies in the face of the latest reports, and defies common sense at a time when more medical professionals are needed not less.
That being the case one must ask what is really behind this call for unvaccinated doctors to be barred from practicing.