By Michael Sikora, Managing Editor and Robert Verkerk, PhD, Founder, Alliance for Natural Health Executive & scientific director, ANH-Intl and ANH-USA
In 2021, tragedy struck a 37-year-old mother of two in the Seattle area. She was a committed wife and mother, devoting herself to being the best caregiver possible to her children. Then the pandemic hit. She was opposed to getting the COVID vaccine: because she was young and in good health, she knew the risks of serious COVID complications were small—smaller, in her determination, than the unknown risks of the experimental vaccines being deployed on the public. But because she did not get vaccinated, she was blocked from being the active participant in her daughters’ lives that she wanted to be. Ultimately, she decided to get the vaccine on August 26, 2021. On September 7, she died from COVID-19 Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia.
Sadly, this kind of story is far from an isolated incident. Few of us will not have experienced, witnessed, or heard of one or more deeply disturbing and heart-rending travesties of medical ethics over the last three years.
Perhaps you’re aware of breaches of respect for the autonomy or privacy of individuals? Or the failure of health authorities to offer the public properly informed consent? Government and medical authorities were able to coerce consent to COVID vaccination through a variety of tactics, including withholding information that would have likely greatly changed the public perception of the risk/benefit profile of those products. Those who refused to consent often faced discrimination, including loss of livelihood.
These jaw-dropping breaches of ethics make it incumbent on us to re-imagine the moral compass we use to guide our journeys as we seek health, resilience, and wellbeing.
Why medical ethics must be reframed
A key reason for reframing medical ethics relates to the unprecedented attack on free speech launched by the government, media, conventional medical institutions, and non-profits during the pandemic. Anything that strayed too far from the “accepted” narrative on COVID—which, in most cases, meant anything remotely calling into question the idea that everyone should get COVID vaccines and boosters—was deemed “misinformation” and subject to censorship; the purveyor of that information was then de-platformed and put their career at risk.
Central to this has been the widescale deployment of experimental synthetic biology based, prophylactic medications that turn our bodies into drug factories. The mRNA and adenoviral vector vaccine platforms have been introduced in a climate in which governments and health authorities peddled fear and propaganda deliberately in order to ensure a compliant, submissive public.
In a world in which scientific dissent has been quashed and social media companies have become the enforcers of permitted public speech, the majority remain largely unaware of the magnitude of change that came with the mass introduction of mRNA and adenoviral technologies. These technologies have effectively been ‘normalized’ under at least partially orchestrated, highly abnormal conditions. Yet they are so fundamentally different to the medications and vaccines that came before them, it is not at all beyond the bounds of possibility that these gene-based technologies could contribute to an untoward, evolutionary bifurcation.
The ability of public health authorities, the mainstream media, and the medical establishment to all coalesce around a central idea—that the pandemic could only be ended by deploying a novel vaccination platform on the public—is another key issue driving the need to rethink medical ethics. Healthcare decisions are becoming more centralized, decided upon by a select few rather than by individuals with their doctors. We see it here in the US, and also on the world stage as the World Health Organization seeks more power to deal with health “emergencies.”
These are among the disturbing and unique circumstances that triggered our work in building a new framework for health and ethics, suitable for our current era. The framework has 8 pillars, and today, we are delighted to be able to release the first pillar, concerning the all-important relationship between a health practitioner and his or her patient or client.
The 12 Propositions
You can reference the full report for a complete explanation of the 12 Propositions for the development of ethical therapeutic relationships. The 12 Propositions are:
- Autonomy. Respect the autonomy of each and every individual by fully acknowledging his or her right to self-determination as well as the individuals’ needs and preferences.
- Informed consent. Seek the informed consent of patients before taking or recommending any action that might influence the health of an individual.
- Non-maleficence (‘avoiding harm’). Ensure that any actions taken, decisions made, or recommendations given avoid, prevent or minimize harm to the individual.
- Beneficence (‘doing good’). Be respectful, kind, thoughtful, caring, and compassionate in dealing with patients. Regard the relationship as one of partnership.
- Fairness and justice. Respect the right of all individuals to health and healthcare, while treating others as equals and also treating them equally.
- Unconflicted practice. Never take advantage of any client or patient in order to further personal, financial or other interests, or any interest of any third party, be it an organization, company, institution, authority, or government.
- Integrity and accountability. Be accountable and act with integrity, both professionally and personally, in each and every relationship with patients, regardless of circumstances or challenges.
- Openness and transparency. Promote transparency by always telling the truth.
- Privacy and confidentiality. Respect patients’ privacy and not divulge any personal information outside the scope of the consultation.
- Non-discrimination. Don’t discriminate on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, heritage, nationality, genetics, background, religion, beliefs, disability or ability, political affiliation, social standing, or any other characteristic.
- Respect for the dignity of all life and natural systems. Respect the dignity and inherent worth of nature and all living beings.
- Reciprocity in human relationships. Recognize the ability to assist patients or clients will be compromised if health providers have not made the management of their own health and welfare a priority.
Widely publicized breaches of well-recognized principles of medical ethics have been particularly common since the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in early 2020. Such breaches include the common failure to exercise informed consent in the absence of coercion, and the withholding of early treatment protocols which had been demonstrated to be beneficial with minimal risk of collateral harm. The latter breach was aggravated by widespread pressure from health authorities which threatened to strip physicians of their medical licenses if they deviated from the narrow confines of recommendations that were strongly influenced by vested interests.
Modern, western medical practice claims to hold autonomy at its heart, with the patient being at the center of decision making. Unfortunately, this key principle is often disregarded in contemporary mainstream medical practice. In its place, you will still commonly find the more paternalistic approach of old, where doctors make decisions on behalf of their patients (acting as ‘gods’ not ‘guides’). Worse than that, you will also find many instances where the views of health authorities, these often heavily influenced by pharmaceutical interests, become the prime determinants of the medical approach. Another increasingly common trait of mainstream medical practice is disconnection — disconnection between people and from nature — a trend that can be accentuated by modern, ‘disconnected’ lifestyles and increasing reliance on technology, including digital systems and remote consultations.
There is an urgent need to reframe the ethical framework around medical practice. Effective, safe, and sustainable clinical practice must recognize fundamental human rights, the intrinsic free will of living beings, the significance of our connection with other humans and our natural environment, a non-physical or spiritual dimension, and the importance of the relationship or interaction between the health practitioner and the patient or client. Health cannot flourish if our medical system prioritizes conformity and orthodoxy over individual sovereignty.