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Judge Halts Free Speech Ban for Doctors

Judge Halts Free Speech Ban for Doctors

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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4 thoughts on “Judge Halts Free Speech Ban for Doctors

  • Matthew W Menefee

    I pretty much ignore anything the FDA or other bureaucracy say. They lie too much, and support policies that are bad for people. Remember the food pyramid they taught us as children? All garbage.

  • Thanks for putting out this information and these very good questions, comments, and suggestions. I plan to try to get my reps and senators in Oregon more informed about this and to find people who are following the legislation going up for consideration, voted on, hearings, etc. very important stuff.

    We had a statewide bill that barely passed that talks about standard practices or some such thing which needs to be followed up on and worked with or opposed as dangerous and restrictive and unnecessarily banning healthy, proven alternatives, although Oregon is not a good state for its medical system being open to real, effective, alternative treatments and supplements, which, for example, were taken away from residents of the state hospital about 10 years ago under the rationalization that there were some weird-sounding and dubious weight lifting supplements that could harm people, SO THEY TOOK ALL SUPPLEMENTS AWAY from the residents who knew about and used them to some degree.

    Right now, too, CMS has changed its mail policies to ban personal mail and packages from reaching residents of state hospitals, such as new books from publishers and reputable book sellers. With this policy, books a person wants to read and learn from, are now prevented, from reaching inmates of state mental hospitals, such as the Oregon State Hospital, infamous for its abuses and non-compliance with various federal regulations for such institutions.

    I am concerned that this is a unnecessary, backwards, anti-intellectual, knowledge-hostile, and excessively restrictive, discriminatory, and primitive measure that will prevent people with plenty of time on their hands (and many who love to read) from getting books sent to them about all sorts of different important positive, interesting, and useful subjects. This draconianmeasure is a throw backfor personal letter communication, which can be a beacon of light for folks put into a difficult period of their lives.

    Books and letters (or emails, for goodness sake)bring hope, joy, inspiration, and power insight, build healthier and more functional brains, and expand knowledge with improves self-image. Books keep us up to date, fill in historical spaces, plus are fulcrums for future knowledge needed in jobs, to help oneself in society, and more generally for participating in a process–education–that should be a human right, not punished or prevented.

  • The Measure referred to above is Measure 111 – Establish a right to health care, passed by a 50.7%–49.3% margin, very close race, and not sufficiently debated or understood, I would say. The language needs to be looked into as possibly doing things of a overly restrictive and medical monopoly manner that would restrict folks rights.

  • Philip Miller

    All science is “in progress.” The half life of medical knowledge is 3-5 years. This law is “bad science.” Good Science is all about questioning methodology, statistical analysis, conclusions and summary. Even within the law, there are always “dissenting opinions.” How do we define community “standard of care” What is evidence-based medicine? Who’s evidence?

    The issue here is infringing on medical prerogative. The ability to solve complex medical problems creatively. How long did it take before they realized that assisted ventilation actually hastened death. Or the use of steroids was appropriate.

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