Now Featured In The Left’s Attack On Freedom Of Speech: Doctors Censoring Doctors

Gee, why would officious authoritarian egomaniacs who think they are God try to do something like that?

The New York Times reports that medical groups are agitating for state boards to discipline physicians spreading “misinformation.” The Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents the groups that license and discipline doctors, recommended last month that states consider suspending or revoking medical licenses of doctors who share false medical claims.

The American Medical Association says spreading misinformation violates the code of ethics that licensed doctors agree to follow. “”Misinformation” is defined by Ethics Alarms as opinions that do not comport with the majority opinion in the profession, with the added qualification that such non-conforming opinions are considered especially worthy of censorship if they offend the political Left, which is where the AMA hangs its metaphorical hat.

The medical association, like its allies, are increasingly unashamed aspiring totalitarians. In this post from April, I wrote about how the AMA issued a statement that it was “deeply disturbed” and “angered” by a recent Journal of the American Medical Association podcast that “questioned the existence of structural racism.” Though JAMA supposedly has editorial independence from the AMA, the association forced JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner to ask for the resignation of podcast host and deputy editor Dr. Edward Livingston because his statements and tweets were “inconsistent with the policies and views of AMA” and “structural racism in health care and our society exists and it is incumbent on all of us to fix it.”

“Structural racism in health care and our society exists and it is incumbent on all of us to fix it” is what the medical profession now calls a “fact.” What the medical profession’s censors are really after is lockstep ideological conformity, using the power to take away the means of contrarians to earn a living as a bludgeon. The Times article would be amusing it it wasn’t so ominous. How can a doctor or a journalist call anything said about the Wuhan virus and its friends “mis-” or “dis-” information, when so many “facts” have been promoted to the public by health experts and then been retracted, reversed, qualified or otherwise contradicted? Dr. Fauci admitted that he deliberately lied to the public about whether masks protected the public from infection. Do you think any state broad will try to take his license away? No, because he’s one of the good doctors, and his misinformation is a means to a just end.

I am pretty certain that any effort to silence medical professionals who espouse controversial opinions will be struck down even by liberal judges, and that the medical groups advocating censorship know it. What they are really trying to accomplish is prior restraint, intimidating non-conforming doctors into keeping quiet by raising the specter of discipline. It’s the ethical equivalent of extortion.

Naturally, the Times, being on the same pro-totalitarianism team as the medical establishment, wants to get the message out: “Nice little career you have here; be a shame if anything were to happen to it!” In the linked article, the First Amendment and freedom of speech aren’t mentioned at all! That can’t be accidental, since the amendment and the right almost certainly are the reason no doctors will be disciplined for claiming, for example, that the vaccines’ aren’t safe, or if any are, the discipline will be struck down, creating a powerful precedent.

I hope a state does try to punish a doctor for bucking the medical majority. We need that court precedent, as climate change activists are calling for the punishment of “deniers,” and a state bar association suspended a lawyer for saying uncomplimentary things about George Floyd on Facebook.

Ironically, a useful court decision on the issue of muzzling doctors came against the Right, when Florida passed a law prohibiting doctors from questioning their patients regarding guns in their homes. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, struck down the bulk of Florida’s Firearms Owners’ Privacy Act (FOPA) in a near-unanimous ruling. The logic behind the law was identical to the rationalization given in the Times article for why “misinformation” promoting doctors should be punished. “When a doctor speaks, people pay attention,” Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, president of the Federation of State Medical Boards, is quoted as saying. “The title of being a physician lends credibility to what people say to the general public. That’s why it is so important that these doctors don’t spread misinformation.”

Got it: the more effective a citizen is in persuading others, the more important it is to censor her. What unethical, paternalistic crap. I don’t need a law to stop my doctor from lecturing me about guns. I have a mouth and feet. As I wrote elsewhere here on doctors abusing their authority by promoting gun control, I would tell my anti-gun doctor that how I choose to exercise my Second Amendment right is none of his business, and that when I want his advice on gun safety, which is unlikely, I’ll ask for it. The next step is walking out the door and finding a new doctor. Similarly, I don’t want or need the state to prevent me from hearing or reading controversial medical or scientific views. In this country, the Constitution and Declaration say, I get to make up my own mind.

Americans must face the unpleasant fact that too many of our “experts” don’t support basic individual rights if they get in the way of the experts’ power to tell us how to live our lives.

This is a problem.

19 thoughts on “Now Featured In The Left’s Attack On Freedom Of Speech: Doctors Censoring Doctors

  1. There has been a series of unprecedented actions regarding COVID-19. See here for another example.

    These are the same people who are pushing for vaccine mandates.

    You mentioned that everyone should be vaccinated. The vaccine has become a tool of oppression.

    In the absence of specific medical advice following a review of medical history, it would be unethical to get vaccinated, for getting vaccinated in the absence of such advice constitutes formal cooperation with evil.

    • I totally understand your perspective, but I prefer the solution suggested by another commenter here a while ago: decide on your own (or with medical advice) if you think the vaccine would be helpful. If it would be, take it; it would be foolish to avoid something you think is helpful for political reasons.

      But then, refuse to participate in the invasive security theater surrounding it. Don’t answer questions or show papers about whether you’re vaxxed, tell people that’s none of their business. They will probably assume you aren’t, so let them.

      This allows the same protest of oppression, while doing what you think is correct to protect yourself. The issue is not that no one should get the vaccine, it’s that it’s no one’s business whether you do or not. Address the actual issue.

  2. Jack said:

    Americans must face the unpleasant fact that too many of our “experts” don’t support basic individual rights if they get in the way of the experts’ power to tell us how to live our lives.

    This is a problem

    Is it? Half of America, according to a recent Pew Research poll, support government censorship of “misinformation.” From the ZeroHedge article:

    Republicans have become more protective of free speech but the shift among Democratic voters is startling. In 2018, just 40 percent of Democrats supported censorship by the government and Big Tech. It is now 65 percent.

    In all honesty, half of America is in favor of abridging their own rights, and those of the other half of the country. I suspect in another year or so, it will be an outright majority, particularly if the pandemic continues unabated.

    Worse, there will be more and more judges confirmed in the lower courts who will favor this as a reasonable exception to the freedom of speech and assembly.

    Nearly half of America appears to be okay with letting the enlightened few control the exercise of our rightsright now. The longer we have a government that’s willing to do that, the less secure those rights become.

    Many may “poo-poo” the idea that Constitutional rights can be restricted. I merely point you to the Second Amendment, which even now is far more restricted than the language of the constitution would permit, and the Supreme Court hasn’t exactly knocked the doors down trying to restore it to it’s intended meaning.

    We are a couple of dead or retired Justices away from just such restrictions as you decry.

  3. When doctors start taking personal and financial responsibility for the over prescribing of opioids they can weigh in on the health dangers of other things.

  4. Since becoming a Medicare recipient, I have an annual checkup / evaluation each January. This year, the nurse administering the screening questionnaire asked if I own guns. I asked, “Is this a health screening, or a casualty insurance evaluation?” She just laughed and said, “I’ll put ‘No.'” I said, “Put whatever you want, it’s no business of the medical profession.” She said, “I agree, but we are required to ask.” My doctor said the same thing when I voiced my objections to him. This incident prompted more correspondence with my representative and senators, in regard to just one of many areas where our federal government needs to step off.

  5. Houston (and everywhere else), we have a problem.*

    Americans must face the unpleasant fact that too many of our “experts” don’t support basic individual rights if they get in the way of the experts’ power to tell us how to live our lives.

    Getting anything done or communicating any idea is getting more problematical every day. I see it as a combination of poor and “diverse” education plus social media’s “like”-or-“dislike” culture of reducing the most simple (never mind complex) ideas to immaterial, unarguable absurdities. Whether it’s solving a problem at CVS or mandating a questionable gag on what a doctor can express as a medical opinion, the average joe doesn’t have to work it out anymore, he just has to go online to vent where others have vented before him or google the one-sentence description of the latest news “bite”. Something like “individual rights” is seen as a matter of personal (usually uninformed) opinion, of numbers divorced from any meaning of the basic statistics or theories politics or legality, Constitutionality or economics behind them. They are roused (some of them), to respond to the occasional questionnaire — what does “how do you feel about” have to do with\ how much you know what you’re talking about? — only to echo pithy statements by one or two of the more interesting (or entertaining) people in the media.

    The result both saddens and frightens me. This now-permissible reduction of debatable complexities to the stubborn simplicities that blight discussion does not lead to a zombie situation, even though that is what it’s beginning to resemble. It ends in mob values and destructive activities. Underneath, there are still living brains … brains that are being overstuffed and underused. Brains that are aware on a deep level, that what they are thinking is just … not … right.

    *I know: that’s not the original quote. The actual dialog, muffled and staticky as it is, still scares the hell out of me. So does the fact that a dear friend with whom I had many a lively debate died with the stupid idea (put there by her Scientologist sister) that NASA was a fake construction and no human being had ever gone to the moon.

  6. Given that EVERYBODY is attempting to spread “misinformation” about the vaccine, I’m not sure censuring Dr.’s who voice a medical opinion is the right way to go. In fact, I’m sure iy ISN’T the right way to go.

  7. Did you know that a large amounts of reputable scientists wrote Dr. Fauci early on in the pandemic and told him about the FACT that masks do NOTHING at all to protect us from the aerosol viruses? These were top Industrial Hygienists who advise on proper protection for the public and I just learned they even exist. Talk about silencing a very important group on individuals.

    The more I research OFF the currated and black listed “Google” the more information i find that is highly reputable, and which has all been wiped from the public finding it easily.

    I am NOT a conspiracy theorist, and sadly, some make some very hard to argue points with clear documentation that this entire pandemic is NOT what we have been led to believe by the pushed narrative.

    From the VAERS information being largely ignored (which is not allowed under Regan’s 1986 Act which granted immunity to manufacturers on the CONDITION that they take ALL VAERS information as exchange for their immunity and use it in the research (something that seems to be missing from the Pfizer approval) and so much more.

    It’s like the horrible gut feeling I had from the early “task force meetings” where the press kept asking “what about masks” AFTER being told how there was NO science behind them over and over, to good doctors being silenced (including MY OWN who has changed before my eyes into a fearful controlled person afraid of losing his JOB if he doesn’t inform me from the provided talking points!!) and so many other things I’d be called crazy if i listed them here….

    And… with the continual marketing of new terms for the sheep to parrot… like the new “misinformation” which has replaced “fake news” – i wonder if people are just weary and go along cuz it’s too fucking much to continually be asking “wtf is going on now???” –

    Anyway, i’m rambling… but something is up. We are NOT being told the truth about what is happening globally and people trying to give another perspective are being villified all in the name of public safety from a virus that has over a 99% recovery rate???? Think about that!!!

    Not to mention that in 2015 they were saying they had to get the public to buy into a vaccine for the virus BEFORE we knew about it, and investors would follow IF the media did it’s job creating the hype?????

    I mean this stuff is public record and the few courageous journalists who were once lauded by the left are being cancelled who dare ask and SHOW what is being ignored by the “journalists” who are nothing more than actors who are provided their daily lines before their shows.

    It’s creepy and sounds conspiracy theory-ish… but it’s NOT. You yourself have published things by Glen Greenwald and others who are now called “Misinformation spreaders” and they are NOT.

    At times is makes me very afraid honestly. I don’t mind other view points at all.
    It terrifies me when ASKING A QUESTION has gotten me DISOWNED by family members!! Yes, really. for ASKING a question!!!

    The very ones who were so against intolerance have become frightening people unable to tolerate a QUESTION that may QUESTION what they have bought into!!!

    This is NOT good for us as a people. And one reason why I liked this place so much as people could have discussions where they disagree.

    Sorry for my jumbly rant…. but… sadly… It’s just depressing to see what has been happening in such a short time since Biden took over.

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