19 November 2022
I was recently accused of lying. This was a little hard to swallow as it was over a directly referenced quote. At the same time, I found the accusation understandable. So much has happened over the past two and a half years, it’s difficult to know who to trust anymore.
Take this example: Pfizer recently admitted they didn’t test for transmission because they were too busy moving at the ‘speed of science’ (to be honest, they really didn’t need to admit it – just ask any double, triple, quadruple jabbed person whether they’ve had the virus yet). Yet we were repeatedly told by authorities the vaccine would stop the virus in its tracks. Trustworthy?
Or this example: The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) revealedit did not know the myocarditis risks of the Pfizer and Moderna products until five months after provisionally approving them for use. Five months! Trustworthy?
Meanwhile, adverse event reporting systems around the world indicate more adverse events in Covid vaccines than all previous vaccines developed over the past 50 years, combined. Yet we were subject to months of multimedia messaging that claimed the vaccines were both ‘safe and effective’. Trustworthy?
It turns out that for a small (but significant) number of people, the vaccines are neither safe nor effective.
People like Tyson Illingworth (known to his millions of fans as ‘tyDi’). He is an acclaimed composer, songwriter, and DJ with a swag of awards. Like so many others trying to ‘do the right thing’ he stepped up for his first dose with ‘complete faith and trust in (Australia’s) leadership and medical system’.
What happened next was alarming. He writes, ‘Within days I started to feel severe and unbearable shooting pain and paralysis in my hands and feet.’
Soon afterward, Tyson was rushed to hospital. ‘I couldn’t believe the vaccine could do this to me, especially when we were all told it was safe and effective and if there was a reaction it would be minor.’
But there was worse to come. Before release from hospital, Tyson was strongly advised to get the second vaccine by the neurologist. ‘I acted on the neurologist’s advice and ended up taking the second vaccine… in hindsight I cannot believe I listened to her as I have always thought of myself as a critical thinker, and instead I took advice from a doctor who had no regard for my personal situation.’
Tyson’s symptoms were further exacerbated by the second dose, and he was rushed to hospital once again. ‘I was unable to move, my hands felt like they were on fire, and I struggled to get through the day… I thought my life was over…’
A couple of months later he contracted the virus, sending him to hospital yet again.
Tyson’s life has changed immeasurably. Where there should be touring, performing and interviews, instead is terrible pain, medications and doctor’s appointments, and a new understanding of the state of medicine in Australia.
Vaccine claims and censorship
The COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme was established to help people receive financial support if they’ve experienced harm because of a Covid vaccine. The application process could be described as complicated, at best. Many patients find they are ineligible to claim due to the limited list of recognised adverse effects. In addition, submitting a claim requires a doctor to complete a 10-page report documenting their medical opinion and link to vaccination – something many doctors are unwilling to put their name to.
Tyson experienced this also, ‘I had 5 different doctors confirm that my condition was caused by the vaccine, and they all said they cannot go on record.’
Thank you AHPRA position statement…
(The position statement makes clear that any health advice which undermines the national immunisation campaign may result in investigation and regulatory action. Result? Many doctors are too scared to report an adverse event for fear they might be investigated.)
Despite these limitations, the claims scheme budget is set to blow out to almost $77 million by July 2023. That’s a lot of claims.
Tyson rightly questions the advice he was given recommending he take the second dose of the vaccine. ‘One would think that when a patient presents with severe neurological issues in hospital a specialist would think first, “I will do no harm and disclose the risk”… The information about neurological side effects was available to every clinician at the time, a simple Google search would have revealed this.’
A formal complaint from Tyson to the QLD health ombudsman returned a letter acknowledging that although the doctor advised him to get a second vaccine, despite being injured by the first, the practitioner was (conveniently) indemnified.
However, an April 2021 letter from Greg Hunt to both the AMA and the RACGP released under freedom of information outlines the parameters of this ‘indemnity’ and confirms ‘as with all vaccines, informed consent is required before the administration of each vaccine dose’.
The Australian government’s six-page consent form lists only a handful of potential and ‘rare or very rare’ side effects including blood clotting and heart inflammation. No mention of neuropathy or potential for other serious side effects emerging or not yet known due to incomplete safety data of these provisionally approved injectables.
So, what exactly is informed consent?
Every health practitioner should know ‘consent is a process, not a form’, says medical professional insurer Avant. ‘Gaining consent from your patient means more than just going through a checklist of risks… you need to understand the risks that are material to your patient.’
Medical professional insurer MIPS agrees that it is important that professionals ‘identify the risks that the patient is most concerned about.’
Given the nature and severity of Tyson’s reaction to the first dose it would be reasonable to be concerned about the risk of a reaction to the second.
This ‘un-informed consent’ story is all too common and one I have heard repeated time and again. Being simply handed a form to read and sign does not equate to informed consent. It never has. Especially when administering a provisionally approved medical product.
If the government’s indemnity scheme is dependent on informed consent, and informed consent didn’t happen, what happens when the patient suffers a vaccine injury? Where does the buck stop?
It stops with the patient, the person at the receiving end of this bureaucratic mess. In this case that person was Tyson who now suffers debilitating symptoms.
How bureaucracy undermines trust
The recently amended National Law, which regulates medical practitioners, is set to give AHPRA even more power to silence doctors if they are deemed to be undermining ‘public confidence’. This means if doctors disagree with public health messaging, like a ‘safe and effective’ mantra, they risk disciplinary action.
How then will patients be able to trust they are receiving the best health advice for their individual circumstances alongside up to date evidence, and not the government-endorsed public health message of the day?
For someone who used to trust our medical system, like Tyson, I’m not sure that trust can be earned back. And with the way things are heading, I wouldn’t trust it either.
Dr Julie Sladden has passion for transparency in healthcare. If you’d like to support her caffeine-inspired writing, you can shout her a coffee here.