Efforts are increasing to silence doctors who stray too far from the dictates of conventional medicine. Action Alerts!
“More than 2 years into this pandemic, the largest threat next to the spread of the virus itself is the spread of disinformation and misinformation.” These words were spoken by the CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), Humayun Chaudhry, DO. The statement is emblematic of the wave of censorship that has been building since the beginning of the pandemic. It is also in line with other attempts at the federal level to gag free speech about natural treatments for COVID prevention and treatment. We cannot allow these efforts to stifle the speech of doctors to succeed.
Dr. Chaudhry was referencing the FSMB’s recent approval of a medical misinformation and disinformation policy. The policy encourages state medical boards to “consider the full array of authorized grounds for disciplinary action” and not to be “dissuaded from carrying out their duty to protect the public by concerns about potential challenges to disciplinary decisions.” But don’t worry: FSMB recommends that state boards should also “consider whether there are options that do not involve disciplinary action that could help a licensee understand the ethical basis of their duty to convey accurate information to patients and the public.” This is eerily reminiscent of authoritarian “re-education” camps for doctors.
As we’ve said before: We’ve learned from the pandemic that available information can change, often quite rapidly, as with the CDC’s masking guidelines. We were also told that the virus could be spread on surfaces, then subsequent investigations revealed that the virus mostly spreads when aerosols and droplets containing the virus are inhaled. Often the “misinformation” of today becomes the established facts of tomorrow.
Further, there is a massive problem with encouraging state medical boards to initiate a campaign against “disinformation” because what constitutes “disinformation” is in the eye of the beholder; any definition will likely be vague enough to encapsulate any health information the government or state medical boards don’t like.
We believe that Congress should pass a bill protecting doctors’ free speech rights. Just as professors are protected after they get tenured, doctors’ free speech rights should be protected after they receive their medical license.
There are certainly bad actors out there that try to make a quick buck by peddling outright falsehoods. But the many efforts at censorship seem to be geared at a subset of doctors that buck the status quo when it comes to COVID-19—either those who don’t believe in vaccinating everyone under the sun with multiple COVID vaccine shots, those who recommend common-sense vitamins and minerals for immune support, or those who believe the voluminous scientific literature on the benefits of medicines like ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and others for the early treatment of COVID patients. We would like to think that science-based medicine can accommodate a diverse array of views, but powerful forces like the FSMB, the American Medical Association, and others seem dead-set on a one-size-fits-all approach. Deviate from their orthodoxy as a doctor, and you risk your license being suspended or revoked.
Remember, too, that the FSMB has a history of opposition to natural medicine dating back to the mid-1990s, when it discussed altering the definition of health fraud to include alternative medical care! It would appear that FSMB considers innovative approaches to healthcare to be nothing more than exercises in “quackery” and would jump at an easy chance to revoke the licenses of doctors who do not adhere to conventional medical orthodoxy—the very orthodoxy that ensures the FSMB an annual revenue of $50 million, mostly from offering credentialing services and licensing exams.
The threats to free speech are not idle. California is currently considering a bill that would allow the state medical board to discipline physicians for disseminating or promoting “misinformation” or “disinformation” as it relates to COVID-19. A federal bill would amend the law to make companies like Facebook and Twitter legally liable for promoting “health misinformation” during a declared public health emergency.
We are entering a climate where anything that challenges the government and Big Pharma’s one-size-fits all paradigm will be censored and eliminated from discourse. We cannot allow these steps towards authoritarianism to gain traction.
Some states are, unlike California, considering bills to protect free speech rights for doctors. Click the corresponding links below to take action.
- Oppose federal efforts at medical censorship on Twitter and Facebook.
- California residents, oppose AB 2098, which allows the state medical board to discipline physicians for disseminating or promoting “misinformation” or “disinformation” as it relates to COVID-19.
- If you live in one of the states below, click the corresponding link to support active bills that protect doctors’ free speech.
4. All other states: Send a message to your legislature telling them to protect doctors’ free speech rights.