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Judge Halts Free Speech Ban for Doctors

Judge Halts Free Speech Ban for Doctors
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A judge has put the brakes on a bad California law that would censor doctors.

A California judge issued a preliminary injunction last week which prevents AB 2098 from being enforced for the time being. This law was approved last year and gives the state medical board the power to target doctors who disseminate “misinformation” regarding COVID. As we argued at the time, this is part of a wider effort on the part of some states and mainstream medical organizations to quash dissent among doctors who don’t toe the conventional thinking on COVID treatments. Under the guise of protecting public health, these bills are really all about enriching special interests that benefit from one-size-fits-all medicine, notably Big Pharma, since only FDA-approved drugs can claim to treat or prevent diseases. All other modalities, no matter how much science there is to back them, would be shut out. A preliminary injunction doesn’t eliminate the law, but it is a critical step in the right direction towards invalidating it. Importantly, we hope the court challenges will dissuade other state legislatures from pursuing this kind of censorship.

The law approved by the California legislature and signed by the governor defines “misinformation” as “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.” In ordering the preliminary injunction, the judge correctly honed in on the impossibility of defining what the “scientific consensus” is. The judge pokes several holes in the law’s definition, or lack thereof:

“Contemporary scientific consensus” lacks an established meaning within the medical community, and defendants do not propose one. The statute provides no clarity on the term’s meaning, leaving open multiple important questions. For instance, who determines whether a consensus exists to begin with? If a consensus does exist, among whom must the consensus exist (for example practicing physicians, or professional organizations, or medical researchers, or public health officials, or perhaps a combination)? In which geographic area must the consensus exist (California, or the United States, or the world)? What level of agreement constitutes a consensus (perhaps a plurality, or a majority, or a supermajority)? How recently in time must the consensus have been established to be considered “contemporary”? And what source or sources should physicians consult to determine what the consensus is at any given time (perhaps peer-reviewed scientific articles, or clinical guidelines from professional organizations, or public health recommendations)? The statute provides no means of understanding to what “scientific consensus” refers.

These are all fair questions, but we know the basic answer. The law is intended to ban the dissemination of any COVID information the establishment doesn’t like. They’ll know it when they see it; don’t ask for specificity!

The cases must be fully litigated to reach a final decision, but we are hopeful that the truth will prevail, and this terrible law will be stricken.

The California bill, and similar bills that have been considered by other state legislatures, would prevent your doctor from telling you about the wide body of evidence suggesting the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and intravenous vitamin C for COVID-19. They are also designed to prevent or scare doctors from advising patients about the dangers of COVID vaccination. Who knows, maybe your doctor telling you about the benefits of vitamin D or other supplements for immune support and COVID prevention would constitute “misinformation.” If government health authorities determine the “scientific consensus,” only FDA-approved treatments could be discussed or administered by doctors for COVID—meaning vaccines and/or drugs. Any discussion of supplements, which are included in many COVID protocols, could be forbidden under these laws, no matter how much evidence there is supporting their use. This will enrich all of those who stand to make money off of the standard of care and the one-size-fits-all paradigm—namely, Big Pharma.

This would be a disaster. Natural medicine is predicated on the idea that each patient has individual needs based on unique biology and genetics. If doctors aren’t allowed to discuss alternatives to the mainstream medical approach not only are the legal requirements of informed consent not being satisfied, but integrative doctors’ ability to treat individual patients will suffer. And it’s not just treatments; this censorship crusade could also be applied to doctors telling you about complementary support modalities like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and others.

As of right now, New Jersey is considering a similar bill to California’s, except that it isn’t just limited to COVID, making it much, much more dangerous. Want to learn about magnesium’s sleep benefits before your doctor prescribes Ambien? Want to learn about chromium’s effect on blood sugar before you go on a diabetes drug? Your doctor may not be able to discuss any of that with you if this bill passes in NJ.

NJ residents can click here to take action, and we will update you accordingly if similar bills come up in other states.

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