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Your Voice: Colleges are right to take action against doctors spreading COVID-19 misinformation

All letters to the editor published by KelownaNow reflect only the opinions of the readers who submit them, and not necessarily those of KelownaNow or its staff. Letters can be submitted to news@kelownanow.com


I am writing in reply to Ron Cannan's recent opinion piece in Kelowna about censorship of doctors' opinions.

I myself work in the Okanagan as a busy family physician but in what little spare time that I have, I also administer a large local science- and evidence-based COVID support and information group.

This has kept me extremely busy for the past 18 months and as a result I have deep-dived into everything COVID, into the evidence, science and information as well as misinformation out there, both here in BC, Canada but also globally.

I verify all sources of information posted to the group as well as analyze and critique everything I read and as a consequence, the information that is put out is verified as we currently know the science, it is peer-reviewed evidence with sound scientific backing.

I am in no way censored by any of my medical colleges or authorities, I have had every opportunity to voice my opinion on social media and elsewhere publicly without fear of reprimand by the medical bodies.

Why? Because I don’t post or promote unproven remedies or medications which do not cure COVID but frequently harm the the public.

<who> Photo credit: 123RF

I review the study evidence, I critique it by picking it apart to see if it holds water. I have no bias towards so-called Big Pharma, but they have certainly come up with the goods, vaccines that are extremely safe, very effective, and are very cheap in comparison to an ICU bed.

They aren’t perfect but they are doing what we asked of them, keeping the majority of people out of hospitals and from dying. They are starting to come out with long overdue antiviral treatments which show great promise.

I look at the mask and vaccine mandates here in BC and see a consistent drop in case numbers due to appropriate and evidence based public health policy.

Mr Cannan complains of “muzzling” of a few renegade doctors from spouting unproven remedies – that’s ironic given the number of fantastic science experts who post on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok who frequently get taken down due to anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers acting on mass to activate the social media platform AI algorithms. That’s the sort of behaviour that costs lives.

I have infinite time for vaccine-hesitant people, I will discuss their anxieties and can easily debunk the misinformation that they have heard.

I however have zero time for those spreading misinformation online causing health harms and often death. That especially applies to doctors spreading unproven misinformation as they are in a position of trust which they are abusing.

Quite rightly action is being taken by the colleges and medical bodies as people are proven to be suffering because of their actions.

Their opinions are worthless without peer-reviewed evidence, however Mr Cannan tries to dress them up.

Dr. Pete Henley

Vernon



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