As Byron Bay Council defends appearance of professional antivaxer, unimmunised child airlifted to Brisbane with tetanus

On March 15 2017, a deliberately unimmunised seven-year-old child suffering from tetanus was airlifted to Brisbane. From ABC North Coast’s Bruce MacKenzie, today:

A northern New South Wales doctor says a seven-year-old child who is in a critical condition after being diagnosed with tetanus was not immunised.

The girl was initially treated at Lismore, before being transferred to Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital on Wednesday.

Tetanus is a potentially fatal disease which is transmitted by bacteria in soil, and can enter the bloodstream through minor wounds.

On March 15 2017, immunisation experts and advocates emphasised the danger posed to the NSW Northern Rivers by professional anti-vaccination entrepreneur, David Avocado Wolfe, in his sold-out talk given at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall, on March 16 2017 (last night). From ABC North Coast’s Joanne Shoebridge and Samantha Turnbull:

Pro-vaccination campaigners are concerned David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe, a self-described “rock star of the superfoods and longevity universe”, will exacerbate vaccine scepticism during his visit to northern New South Wales this week.

Mr Wolfe will speak in Mullumbimby, which has the lowest vaccination rates in Australia, on Thursday night.

The internationally renowned conspiracy theorist has more than 10 million Facebook followers and has been outspoken in his stance against vaccination in the past.

The Byron Bay Shire Council runs the Mullumbimby Civic Hall:

Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters spokeswoman Alison Gaylard criticised the Byron Shire Council, which has representatives on the board of the Mullumbimby Civic Hall, for making the venue available.

“The council also runs immunisation clinics, so it’s a bit ironic they’re willing to give this man and his opinions a platform,” she said.

The Council’s representative, Mark Arnold, added the following:

Council’s director of corporate and community services Mark Arnold said the council did not have a position on vaccination.

“Our halls are managed by local committees and there is currently no list of who can or can’t hire the public venues,” he said.

On March 16 2017, whilst noting that he is personally “pro-vaccination”, and noting that the council needs to review its venue hiring policies, given the community concern, Deputy Mayor Basil Cameron defended businessman Wolfe’s paid appearance as a matter of “freedom of speech.” From ABC North Coast, with Joanne Shoebridge:

But, not all Byron Bay councilors are nonchalant about allowing council-run premises to be used by anti-vaccination businesspersons.

In today’s The Northern Star, Councilor Paul Spooner was blunt about this use of the premises:

Cr Spooner said he would have made an attempt to stop last night’s event, if he knew about it earlier.

“I was quite concerned that council had let out the Mullumbimby Civic Hall to David Wolfe because I think it’s quite irresponsible.

“By not vaccinating, we’re really opening the door to illnesses that have caused a lot of death in the past and I think this generation has forgotten that.”

Cr Michael Lyon said he was “pro-choice”.

“I don’t believe in forced vaccination,” Cr Lyon said.

“(The Mullumbimby Civic Hall) is not council-funded.

“It’s run by the council, but the council does not subsidise it.

“I don’t think we’re saying we support anti-vaccination if we’re letting the hall, that is a long bow to draw.”

Cr Spooner said that response was a “cop out”: “It’s a council facility, the council has put a board in place and and recently put in air condition.”

Not all Byron Bay councilors are, however, as amenable to rational thought as Cr Spooner:

Jeannette Martin said she supported David Wolfe’s visit and she was concerned about the Federal Government’s move towards increasing vaccination rates through the newly announced No Jab, No Play program.

“Noone was forced to go (to David Wolfe’s talk). I am pro choice,” Cr Martin said.

“I think there’s a lot of research coming out that makes the (vaccination) program questionable and if we follow the money the people who are doing well are the pharmaceutical companies.

“I have concerns about the extent of the program and have extreme concerns about forcing vaccinations, I think people need to do their own research.”

This anti-vaccination post also appears on Cr Jeannette Martin’s Facebook profile:

In a show of their regard for “freedom of speech”, late yesterday, Wolfe event organisers banned all media from the Mullumbimby event. From ABC North Coast’s Facebook page:

MEDIA BAN AT DAVID ‘AVOCADO’ WOLFE EVENT IN BYRON SHIRE

A media ban has been imposed on the David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe event in #Mullumbimby tonight.

ABC North Coast reporter Samantha Turnbull had her ticket refunded this afternoon and received a call from the event’s public relations manager saying media would be banned from attending the event.

Mullumbimby has the lowest vaccination rates in Australia.

*Note, the original tickets were purchased at the journalists’ expense and not provided by the event organisers.

We send our best wishes and thoughts for the recovery of the little girl who had no choice in any of this.

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Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, Conspiracy theory, Immunisation, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Antivaxers violently react to proposed government immunisation-childcare policy and vilify bereaved parents

This news broke today:

UNVACCINATED children will be banned from all childcare centres and preschools in Australia under a hard line proposal spearheaded by the federal government.

The immunisation rates of all preschools and daycare centres will be made publicly available to parents, and a loophole allowing formal objections will also be closed as part of the Turnbull government’s plan to boost vaccination rates.

In a powerful endorsement of The Sunday Telegraph’s four-year No Jab, No Play campaign, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has written to state and territory leaders demanding all jurisdictions introduce nationally consistent laws to protect Australian children, and has vowed to take the policy to the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

The Australia-wide laws would not only remove exemptions for objectors but would ensure vaccination rates at each centre and preschool were publicly available.

In Sydney this week the Prime Minister met mother-of-four Toni McCaffery, whose baby daughter Dana died of whooping cough at four weeks of age.

Image courtesy of The Sunday Telegraph

The following screenshots of reactions from anti-vaccination activists – including attacks against the bereaved McCaffery and Hughes families (both of whom lost babies Dana and Riley, respectively, to whooping cough), as well as attacks on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, his wife, and members of his government – are taken from various anti-vaccination Facebook groups and pages, today.

Anti-vaccination activists state that Malcolm Turnbull “needs a bullet”, and that he needs to “be put down.” Another states he would be “happy to punch him in the head.”

This collection will remain live.

No Vaccines Australia page 

Page administered by Ian Hastings of Sydney and Adelaide (also runs No Fluoride Australia).

The attack on Toni McCaffery is a lie. From The Sunday Telegraph, on May 26 2013:

TONI McCaffery suspects a daycare centre was the most likely point where her daughter Dana contracted whooping cough in 2009.

Dana was just six days old when Mrs McCaffery took her inside the centre while dropping off her four-year-old daughter Aisling.

Just over three weeks later, Dana was dead, her tiny body ravaged by whooping cough.

After Dana died, Mrs McCaffery set up a spreadsheet to track her movements and pinpoint where her baby had been exposed to the disease, narrowing the potential places down to the shopping centre, the school and the childcare centre.

Then six cases of whooping cough were confirmed at Aisling’s childcare centre.

Indeed, the McCafferys themselves have been consistent regarding the source of Dana’s infection from the beginning.

A NSW Health pamphlet featuring Dana’s story was released in 2011. The text is from NSW Health, but, this shows the McCafferys’ consistency:

On the fifth day, the whooping cough toxins caused her organs to shut down and Dana had a cardiac arrest. She was only 32 days old when she died.

Nobody knows where Dana was infected with whooping cough. It may have been at her sibling’s school or preschool. A loving relative or friend, or a complete stranger may have unknowingly passed the infection on.

The Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network also attacked Toni McCaffery using Hastings’ lie:

Anti-Vaccination Australia group 

Group administrators are Belgin Sila Colak-Arslan and Breana Stanley.

Group moderators are Shawn Dhu, Bronwyn Hancock, Erin Kingston, Dan DeBuriatte, and assorted fake profiles.

Anti-Vaccination Australia page

Post by administrator Belgin Colak-Arslan:

Belgin Colak-Arslan public profile 

Serene Johnson is a registered nurse

Unvaccinated Australia group 

Group administrators are Brett Smith, Olivier Vles, Carmen Louise, Steve Kefalinos and various fake profiles.

Severe Adverse Reaction to Vaccination group 

Group administrators are Tanya Hammond, Lois Vitler, and Rob Thompson (fake profile).

Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network page 

Page run predominantly by AVN president Tasha David:

Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network fans page 

Page run predominantly by AVN past-president Meryl Dorey:

Vaccine Free Australia group 

Group administrators are Courtney Hebberman, Luke O’Hehir, Leah Hudson, Olivier Vles, and Zane Cosgrove.

Bring Vaxxed to Australia/New Zealand group

Group administrators are Tasha David (AVN president), Tasha David (other profile), Jennifer Smith (AVN representative), Sarah Cox (abused her own son with bleach enemas), Samantha Wisteria, Jennifer Heywood, Peta Dowle, Jamie Elizabeth Crook, and other fake profiles.

To be continued…

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Posted in abuse, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, death threats, Immunisation, meryl dorey, mobbing, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Health Australia Party executive charges for online “homeopathic immunisation” consultations

Australian anti-vaccination homeopath, Isaac Golden, is the national secretary for the anti-vaccination Health Australia Party.

Homeopathic immunisation is not a thing. It is fraud. It dissuades vulnerable parents from accessing real immunisations for their children. It cons vulnerable parents into believing that their children are immunised against potentially deadly diseases. They aren’t.

Tonight, in the rabid anti-vaccination Facebook group, Anti-Vaccination Australia, a member posted evidence that Golden pre-charges his customers for his online homeopathic immunisation consultations. The customer is clearly in Queensland; Golden is in Victoria:

Here is the screenshot, enlarged:

On February 9 2017, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews sent out a media release announcing the new, broadened powers of the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner, specifically mentioning dodgy health providers:

New Laws To Crack Down On Dodgy Health Providers

Victoria’s health complaints watchdog will be given greater powers to name and shame dodgy health service providers and practitioners, and protect the public by banning them from practising.

The Andrews Labor Government will today introduce the Health Complaints Bill 2016 into Parliament, to establish a tough new complaints system to crack down on dangerous unregistered health practitioners.

Under the proposed new laws, the existing Health Services Commissioner will be replaced by a new watchdog, the Health Complaints Commissioner, creating a more comprehensive health complaints system that better protects the public and providers of health services.

The new Commissioner will receive beefed up powers to take action against dangerous and unethical health providers who are not registered under national health practitioner regulation law.

In a major change, the Bill will allow anyone to make a complaint, rather than just the person who received the health service.

The Commissioner will also have the power to instigate an investigation even when no complaint is lodged, for example, if the media have uncovered an unscrupulous unregistered provider making fake or harmful claims.

Under the proposed laws, the new Commissioner would have the powers to investigate and crack down on high profile cases such as the blogger who faked cancer to profit from her wellness app, the fake gynaecologist performing ‘fertility treatments’ on women for a decade, or the unregistered ‘dodgy’ dentists, and ban them from providing these unethical and dangerous treatments.

Other examples include a formerly registered dentist who claimed ‘ozone therapy’ could cure cancer, or people purporting to be able to ‘convert’ gay people through medical or therapeutic means.

Individuals who breach the Commissioner’s ruling would face up to two years in prison.

If the community is at risk, the Commissioner will be able to issue public warnings and name and shame providers in the media in order to protect the public.

The laws will also prevent dodgy healthcare practitioners who are not regulated under national health practitioner regulation law and are banned in other states from moving to Victoria and offering their healthcare services here.

For example, under the new legislation, a midwife who is prohibited from practising in South Australia would automatically be banned from practising in Victoria, whereas previously a complaint would need to be lodged about the midwife’s care before the Health Services Commissioner could take action.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We’re taking action to crack down on dangerous and health practitioners who take advantage of vulnerable Victorians.”

“Our tough new laws will give the Health Complaints Commissioner the power to name and shame and put these dodgy health providers out of business for good.”

“We’re closing loopholes in the existing legislation to make sure Victorians receive the health care protection they need.”

Time for a test-case.

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Update March 11 2017

Another anti-vaccination group member – in Vaccine Free Australia – has just confirmed that Isaac Golden is still providing homeoprophylaxis kits:

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Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Health Australia Party, homeopathy, Immunisation, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Health Australia Party and Jason Woodforth – Anti-vaccine in excelsis.

At the July 2016 federal election, a rebranded natural health political party ran senate candidates in four Australian states: the newly branded Health Australia Party was quickly outed as an anti-vaccination, anti-fluoride, and anti-chemtrails party.

The HAP quickly descended into chaos after the election, due to its failures in all states.

During the lead-up to the election – and even after the election – the HAP leadership  was at pains to paint their poor showing – and the accurate public depictions of them as an anti-vaccination party – as deliberately misleading; the work of a biased media, they argued.

Indeed, HAP national spokesperson Jason Woodforth even decried the “anti-vaccine” tag:

Mr Woodforth rejected the suggestion HAP is anti-vaccine.

He said the reason the party was seen as anti-vaccine was because it did not support the “no jab, no pay” or “no jab, no play” policies.

“The Health Party believes in safe and effective immunisation, always has. The problem we’ve got is there’s no adverse reactions register,” he said.

He believed people were not given enough warnings before vaccination, which he said could lead to severe, even permanent health conditions.

This is anti-vaccination template: we’re not anti-vaccine (they are); we’re pro-safe vaccine (they’re not); there’s no adverse events register (there is); there aren’t enough warnings given to parents (there are); there are severe and permanent injuries from vaccines (not for the bulk of health conditions they claim are vaccine-induced, like autism, SIDS, shaken baby syndrome, asthma, eczema etc).

“We’re really not anti-vaccine, you see…” anti-vaccinationists always tell us, knowing that their real beliefs and intentions are anathema to live babies and public health, and to the community. Anti-vaccinationists are very well aware of just how awful they are; that’s why they don’t tell us the truth. They cannot be both a) honest, and b) successful. It’s one or the other.

Let’s be clear: there is a wealth of evidence that the Health Australia Party is over-populated by anti-vaccination activists. That the HAP leadership would even consider denying their anti-vaccinationism is cringe-worthy.

Even more striking was the behaviour of HAP national spokesman Jason Woodforth, immediately following the election. As expected, before the election, Woodforth was decrying the anti-vaccine tag. After the election, Woodforth went full-blown anti-vaccine, in public, on his Facebook page. Our diligent friend at Diluted Thinking has a collection of the anti-vaccinationism of Woodforth and many other HAP leaders. And Woodforth has been busy this year as well.

On March 3 2017, Woodforth shared this post of anti-vaccination and anti-Vitamin K lies to his Facebook page; the familiar names of his sources will follow, below:

Woodforth’s source is Shawn Dhu, this WA anti-vaccination thug who has made several threats to many critics, as well as a journalist:

And the source for Dhu’s post – “thank you LL”  – is Lulu Langford (AKA Louisa Kenzig), a WA, deregistered enrolled nurse and crackpot, unregistered healthcare provider who attacked the family of deceased baby, Riley Hughes. Here’s just one example, in which Kenzig denied that Riley ever existed:

That’s the community from where Woodforth gets his information.

It should be noted that Woodforth still features his affiliation with the Health Australia Party, on his Facebook page:

What follows is a collection of Woodforth’s public anti-vaccination posts, only going back as far as January 2017; the posts are only from this year.

On March 1 2017, Woodforth shared lies from conspiracy theory website Natural News, regarding the HPV vaccine:

On February 28 2017, Woodforth shared anti-vaccine lies about the Hepatitis B vaccine and the Vitamin K shot. This type of activism has resulted in deaths and it will again:

On February 19 2017, Woodforth shared anti-vaccination standards from US anti-vaccination activist, JB Handley:

On February 22 2017, Woodforth called out the “sheeple” and listed worthy conspiracy theories including chemtrails:

On February 17 2017, Woodforth promoted anti-vaccination activists Robert F Kennedy and Robert De Niro:

On February 7 2017, Woodforth shared an anti-vaccination post imploring the “sheeple” to wake up:

On January 19 2017, Woodforth shared a post from Handley which asserts that vaccines cause autism:

On January 18 2017, Woodforth promoted anti-vaccination misinformation about the measles vaccine and measles complications:

On January 15 2017, Woodforth shared a post from Handley citing the anti-vaccine, CDC conspiracy theory promoted by Kennedy:

On January 14 2017, Woodforth posted misinformation against the polio vaccine:

On January 6 2017, Woodforth posted anti-vaccination lies about glyphosate in vaccines:

On January 4 2017, Woodforth posted anti-vaccination misinformation against the tetanus immunisation:

On January 3 2017, Woodforth promoted a dishonest anti-vaccination post from Natural News:

On January 2 2017, Woodforth shared a lie from US anti-vaccination activist Ginger Taylor, claiming that antivax fraud and ex-gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield had been cleared for his ethics breaches and fraudulent research; he has not:

Once again, tell your families, and tell your friends. Save this evidence for coming elections, both state and federal. Provide this evidence the next time the Health Australia Party attempts to claim it isn’t anti-vaccine. It is. It always will be.

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Posted in anti-fluoride, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, Health Australia Party, Immunisation, meryl dorey, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, vaccination, Vitamin K | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dr Kevin Coleman – the antivaxers’ champion 2

Update March 20 2017

Dr Kevin Coleman promoted his myth, that the influenza immunisation led to his stroke, in Anti-Vaccination Australia:

Original post February 26 2017

On November 28 2015, readers were introduced to NSW Central Coast general practitioner, Dr Kevin Coleman, via this blog post: Dr Kevin Coleman – the antivaxers’ champion.

Coleman’s Facebook profile, now, as it was back in 2015, reads like a CV of his medical qualifications and medical employment. It is abundantly clear that Coleman uses his medical registration and employment on his social media, making every comment and post he publishes answerable under the Medical Board of Australia’s Code of ConductGuidelines for advertising regulated health services, and Social Media Policy (see the appendix at the end of this post for sections of these three documents):

To further introduce Coleman to newcomers, he also has history with regulators (from the 2015 blog post):

Coleman is no stranger to professional controversy. In 2010, Coleman was cautioned by the Medical Professional Standards Committee [inquiry PDF] for undertaking an inappropriate breast exam, without permission, on a patient. From the Health Care Complaints Commission publication:

The Health Care Complaints Commission recently prosecuted a complaint against Dr Kevin Thomas Coleman, a general practitioner, before a Medical Professional Standards Committee. The complaint alleged that Dr Coleman undertook a breast examination without the patient’s consent, without explaining to the patient the reason for the examination, and that the examination was inappropriate. It was further alleged that he failed to maintain adequate medical records.

In its decision of 12 April 2010, the Committee found Dr Coleman guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and cautioned him.

Coleman still has conditions attached to his registration. For example:

2. To practise only in a group practice (group is defined as at least 3 practitioners), with one other practitioner (supervisor) always on site. Nursing home and home visits are permitted if approved by the Medical Council of NSW.

3. To not consult, treat, interview or examine any female patient over the age of 13 years, whether in his surgery rooms, a nursing home or on house calls, unless a chaperone (an adult third person) is continuously present.

a) Prior to any such consultation, examination, treatment or interview, he must inform each female patient, or the parent or other adult carer of each child patient, of the necessity for a third person/chaperone to be present at all times.

And, importantly, note the final condition. Keep this in the back of your mind:

Registration is also subject to conditions that relate to personal health. Particulars are not published due to privacy considerations.

The impetus for the November 2015 blog post (apart from Coleman’s abundant anti-vaccination posts on various Facebook fora, also contained in the 2015 blog post), came  on November 20 2015, when Coleman gave a speech to the poorly-attended No Jab No Pay No Way anti-vaccination protest rally, outside the offices of The Sunday Telegraph, in Sydney:

Some bullet-points from Coleman’s speech are as follows (also from the 2015 blog post):

  • Coleman alludes to vaccines being a source of criminal behaviour
  • Coleman asserts that there has not been enough research done on the vaccines/autism debate
  • Coleman again asserts the flawed hypotheses that vaccines have not been studied appropriately, and that post-immunisation surveillance is not adequately carried out
  • Coleman alleges that vaccine safety data is deliberately distorted
  • Coleman alleges that accusations of vaccine injury are ignored, based on the claims of the anti-vaccine activists present
  • Coleman alleges that general practitioners ignore the lifestyle factors of their patients in lieu of writing scripts
  • Alarmingly, Coleman notes that he was admitted to a stroke unit in 2009, attributing his condition to an influenza immunisation
  • Coleman mistakenly equates the real harm done by vaccine preventable disease, with the many made-up claims of vaccine injury, thus doing a great disservice to those he claims to honour

On November 29 2015, a complaint was lodged with the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, based on the information contained in the 2015 blog post. This information consisted of the full transcript and video of the protest speech, as well as overwhelming evidence of his online activities in support of the anti-vaccination movement, and two articles quoting Coleman in Australian Doctor (also included in the 2015 blog post).

On March 30 2016, the complainant was sent the findings (redacted letter available here), from a weak and inadequate investigation based on addressing a Strawman: that Coleman is “not anti-vaccination”.

The issue at hand is clearly Coleman’s promotion of anti-vaccination misinformation – using his medical registration and his place of practise – on his social media, and at a public anti-vaccination rally, rather than whatever Coleman deems to call himself. For the record, it would be inaccurate to claim that Coleman is “anti-vaccine”. Coleman is not against all immunisations, by his own admission. He just shares a lot of anti-vaccine lies, dressed up as facts and “medical research”. From the March 30 2016 HCCC/Medical Council of NSW findings:

Dr Coleman has not consented to the release of his response and therefore I am unable to provide you with a copy.

I understand the main issue you had was with regards to Dr Coleman’s promotion of anti-vaccination and that he may be providing inaccurate information to the public which could lead to further illness and place further stress on the Australian healthcare system.

In his response Dr Coleman has advised the Commission that he is not anti-vaccination, but rather “pro-choice”. He believes that parents should be provided with objective, evidence based advice about vaccinations to enable them to make an informed decision about whether or not to vaccinate their child, rather than penalising them if they choose not to vaccinate.

Dr Coleman goes on to advise that he does not advocate for parents who do not vaccinate their children. He sympathises with both sides of the vaccination debate and shares his medical research on his facebook page. He does not provide advice to patients about vaccinations for their children and his interest in the issue is academic.

The Commission, in consultation with the Medical Council of NSW, has assessed your complaint and has decided to take no further action with this matter as from the information provided it appears that Dr Coleman is not advocating anti-vaccination but is advocating for the rights of the public to make their own informed decision.

However while Dr Coleman is entitled to his opinion this needs to be balanced with professional opinion which is positive toward vaccination.

Therefore the Commission, in consultation with the Medical Council of NSW has reminded Dr Coleman to make his position clear to patients that he is not advocating either for or against vaccination.

So, Coleman claims he is not anti-vaccine. Coleman claims he does not advocate for parents who do not immunise their kids. Coleman claims that he shares “his medical research” in sympathy with “both sides of the vaccination debate”. Coleman claims he is sharing information so that parents can make an “informed decision” about immunisation. And the HCCC and the Medical Council of NSW swallow it all: “Dr Coleman is not advocating anti-vaccination…”

One thing which stands out to any reader of Coleman’s social media is his overwhelming urge to post anti-vaccination material, and outright falsehoods, with an astonishing dearth of advocacy that parents should immunise their kids. Indeed, there would be appear to be only one side to this advocacy, given the weight of evidence which is published on Coleman’s social media, the odd comment equivocating about the benefits of some immunisation, notwithstanding.

Given the insipid investigation, and findings, above, into Coleman’s activism, one only needs to have a look at the sum of “his medical research” since the 2015 blog post which formed the basis of the rejected HCCC/Medical Council of NSW complaint.

On February 26 2017, on his profile, Coleman posted an article in which it is claimed that the HPV vaccine was responsible for the death of a girl. Regardless of the text contained in the article, Coleman implied that the vaccine has not been adequately tested for safety. It has. From the very article posted by Coleman:

“HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine protects against cervical cancer, which can be a major killer of women, ” the statement said.

“Studies show that there are no serious safety concerns associated with HPV vaccine.”

According to the US Centre for Disease Control, one of the world’s leading medical authorities, “HPV vaccine is very safe, and it is effective at protecting against some HPV types that can be very bad.”

On February 23 2017, in Anti-Vaccination Australia, Coleman stated that there haven’t been any randomised controlled trials of vaccine safety, and entertained the admin of Anti-Vaccination Australia who had posted an anti-vaccination blog post:

On February 21 2017, on his Facebook profile, Coleman posted the anti-vaccination canard that vaccines haven’t had an effect on the decline in infectious disease and that this decline is due to hygiene and sanitation. The name of the website is “Medicine Kills Millions”:

On February 19 2017, Coleman called vaccination a “sacrament”,  posting an incorrect claim that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the USA; it is not:

On February 19 2017, Coleman shared a video from anti-vaccination activist JB Handley, falsely claiming that there are no randomised controlled trials for  the “sacrament” of vaccination:

On February 16 2017, Coleman stated that parents are “right to question vaccination”, based on his claim that “the medical system is corrupt”:

On February 16 2017, Coleman shared an article advocating for the infection of children with measles, and against immunisation, from discredited anti-vaccination micropaleontolgist, Viera Scheibner, who is not a vaccine researcher:

On November 21 2016, Coleman shared a post from the anti-vaccination page of the debunked anti-vaccine movie, Vaxxed, produced, directed by, and starring the disgraced anti-vaccination fraud, Andrew Wakefield:

On October 17 2016, Coleman shared an anti-vaccination conspiracy theory post:

On October 7 2016, Coleman shared a post from discredited anti-vaccination PhD graduate, Judy Wilyman, listing doctors who are anti-vaccine:

On October 3 2016, Coleman shared an anti-vaccination newsletter from Judy Wilyman:

On September 29 2016, Coleman shared a conspiracy theory post from anti-vaccination Facebook identity, Bev Pattenden, in which lies are published about the HPV vaccine:

On September 29 2016, Coleman shared a post from conspiracy theorist Bev Pattenden, containing a speech by anti-vaccination activist, Judy Wilyman:

On September 4 2016, Coleman shared this post by anti-vaccinationist, conspiracy theorist and fundamentalist Bev Pattenden. Pattenden believes that “evil” vaccination is a covert operation in which the population will be “micro-chipped” by “the devil and his demon helpers” who are intent on culling the population by “poisoning ourselves and our children” so as to have “less people on the planet”:

Welcome to all the new members. Please scroll down to read for a while before posting anything, to see if it is here before you post. I have to refuse quite a few posts, because they are here so many times before.
Posts that are outright promotions of vaccines will not be posted, but those who are open to debate usually are.
This is an anti-vax/pro choice group, meaning I am now anti-vax, but I realize that some still want to vaccinate, and that is their choice.
That is what this is all about. “the freedom to choose”, which will be destroyed if we allow ourselves to be micro-chipped.
Please realize that this is a spiritual battle as well as a temporal one.
The devil and his demon helpers do not really care if you are an atheist, an agnostic, or what “religion” you are, they just want you to harden your heart against God, so that you cannot learn the truth.
The longer you resist the truth, the harder it becomes to accept it when it comes along. Some will never learn, and the parable of the seeds, as explained by Jesus tells it well.
Mark 4:13-20.
But still we must continue to explain the evil of vaccinations, that has captured the soul of so many for so long, in which we are told that poisoning ourselves and our children was good for our health.
It is, and was a lie, propagated by those who benefit financially and want less people on the planet.

On September 4 2016, Coleman shared an anti-vaccination, conspiracy theory post:

On August 29 2016, Coleman shared an anti-vaccination post, in which it is claimed that vaccines are responsible for conditions unrelated to vaccination:

On August 11 2016, Coleman promoted a publication written by an anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist and an anti-vaccination researcher:

On August 5 2016, Coleman astonishingly appeared to make a direct link between historic iatrogenic HIV/AIDS infections, and the government’s No Jab No Pay immunisation and child care policy. Coleman was congratulated as a “great man” by anti-vaccination activist Trent Wiseman, a carpenter from Melbourne:

On July 24 2016, Coleman promoted Sydney naturopath Marilyn Bodnar, who was committed to stand trial in the near-starving-death of a baby under her healthcare supervision:

On May 28 2016, Coleman promoted a demonstrably false anti-vaccination lie about Irish nuns and the deaths of orphans in Ireland:

On May 19 2016, Coleman promoted dangerous claims regarding Vitamin C and miracle cures. Coleman sourced his medical information from anti-vaccination carpenter, Trent Wiseman:

On May 2 2016, Coleman promoted the anti-vaccination movie, Vaxxed, produced and directed by, and starring anti-vaccination fraud Andrew Wakefield:

On April 4 2016, Coleman shared a post from Truthkings, the conspiracy theory website of anti-vaccination activist, Sherri Tenpenny:

On April 4 2016, Coleman shared what appears to be the only PubMed article on his Facebook profile, a study by disgraced anti-vaccination father-and-son team, the Geiers. The father, Mark Geier, has had his medical licence revoked in the US, due to his unethical practise of medicine. Geier used Lupron to chemically castrate autistic boys, based on his flawed belief that an overabundance of testosterone was implicated in autism in boys:

On February 22 2016, Coleman promoted the Facebook pages of anti-vaccination activist, Judy Wilyman, and fake cancer cure businessman, Ian Gawler:

On February 5 2016, Coleman shared an anti-vaccination article about measles:

On February 5 2016, Coleman, again, shared the anti-vaccination post regarding measles, falsely equivocating the pros and cons of measles immunisation:

On January 22 2016, Coleman shared a post from anti-Semitic, homophobic, Islamophobic, Port Arthur denialism website, The Crazz Files, in which conspiracy theories about the Hammond family are promoted:

On January 6 2016, Coleman shared anti-vaccination lies about measles immunisation and measles deaths:

On January 6 2016, Coleman showed that he does not fully understand the significance of using measles mortality data in arguing against the efficacy of measles immunisation. Anyone with basic knowledge of the anti-vaccination movement knows that anti-vaccination activists dishonestly argue that measles immunisation is ineffective, based not on measles notifications, but, on mortality data. Of course, modern medicine got better and better at preventing deaths from measles, hence the decline before widespread immunisation. This is separate from measles notifications, or morbidity data. Coleman states, “This is impressive!”, of the mortality graph he posted:

On December 31 2015, Coleman stated that influenza immunisation is a “scam”:

On December 30 2015, Coleman promoted the hideous website of anti-vaccination entrepreneur, Stephanie Messenger, and her dangerous anti-vaccination children’s book, Melanie’s Marvelous  Measlesin which it is advocated that getting measles is beneficial for children:

On December 28 2015, Coleman stated that the government’s No Jab No Pay legislation is “scientifically hazardous”, and claimed that “long term, transgenerational impact of vaccines” is not researched, thereby ignoring the existence of post-marketing surveillance:

On December 22 2015, Coleman shared the anti-vaccination lies about the Irish nuns and deaths of orphans:

On December 20 2015, Coleman promoted this anti-vaccination blog post:

On November 28 2015, Coleman shared this article from 2011 in which it is argued that the Gardasil vaccine is dangerous. The court case against Gardasil has disappeared. Coleman  also asked a series of questions which are already answered in the Gardasil product information, easily available on the internet:

On November 27 2015, Coleman promoted the Gardasil court case, claiming that Gardasil safety data must somehow be hidden; it isn’t:

Given the regulatory importance placed upon the dangerous anti-vaccination activities of nurses and midwives, and chiropractors, by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and the Chiropractic Board of Australia, one must hope – hopefully not in vain – that the Medical Board of Australia takes these alleged breaches seriously, this time.

We must compare the activities of Dr Kevin Coleman with those of practitioners already sanctioned by the NMBA and the CBA, and wonder what uproar would follow if that which still appears on Coleman’s social media was still available on any nurse or chiropractor’s pages. How many more “reminders” does the Medical Council  of NSW and the HCCC afford Dr Coleman? The medical community, and medical associations, cannot remain silent on this egregious case. Not any more.

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Appendix

Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia

1.2 Use of the code

Doctors have a professional responsibility to be familiar with Good medical practice and to apply the guidance it contains.

This code will be used:

  • to support individual doctors in the challenging task of providing good medical care and fulfilling their professional roles, and to provide a framework to guide professional judgement
  • to assist the Medical Board of Australia in its role of protecting the public, by setting and maintaining standards of medical practice against which a doctor’s professional conduct can be evaluated. If your professional conduct varies significantly from this standard, you should be prepared to explain and justify your decisions and actions. Serious or repeated failure to meet these standards may have consequences for your medical registration
  • as an additional resource for a range of uses that contribute to enhancing the culture of medical professionalism in the Australian health system; for example, in medical education; orientation, induction and supervision of junior doctors and international medical graduates; and by administrators and policy makers in hospitals, health services and other institutions.

The code applies in all settings. It is valid for technology-based patient consultations as well as for traditional face-to-face consultations and also applies to how doctors use social media. To guide doctors further, the Medical Board of Australia has issued Guidelines for technology-based patient consultations.

1.4 Professional values and qualities of doctors

While individual doctors have their own personal beliefs and values, there are certain professional values on which all doctors are expected to base their practice.

Doctors have a duty to make the care of patients their first concern and to practise medicine safely and effectively. They must be ethical and trustworthy.

Patients trust their doctors because they believe that, in addition to being competent, their doctor will not take advantage of them and will display qualities such as integrity, truthfulness, dependability and compassion. Patients also rely on their doctors to protect their confidentiality.

Doctors have a responsibility to protect and promote the health of individuals and the community.

Good medical practice is patient-centred. It involves doctors understanding that each patient is unique, and working in partnership with their patients, adapting what they do to address the needs and reasonable expectations of each patient. This includes cultural awareness: being aware of their own culture and beliefs and respectful of the beliefs and cultures of others, recognising that these cultural differences may impact on the doctor–patient relationship and on the delivery of health services.

Good communication underpins every aspect of good medical practice.

Professionalism embodies all the qualities described here, and includes self-awareness and self-reflection. Doctors are expected to reflect regularly on whether they are practising effectively, on what is happening in their relationships with patients and colleagues, and on their own health and wellbeing. They have a duty to keep their skills and knowledge up to date, refine and develop their clinical judgement as they gain experience, and contribute to their profession.

2.2 Good patient care

Maintaining a high level of medical competence and professional conduct is essential for good patient care. Good medical practice involves:

  1. Recognising and working within the limits of your competence and scope of practice.
  2. Ensuring that you have adequate knowledge and skills to provide safe clinical care.
  3. Maintaining adequate records (see Section 8.4).
  4. Considering the balance of benefit and harm in all clinical-management decisions.
  5. Communicating effectively with patients (see Section 3.3).
  6. Providing treatment options based on the best available information.
  7. Taking steps to alleviate patient symptoms and distress, whether or not a cure is possible.
  8. Supporting the patient’s right to seek a second opinion.
  9. Consulting and taking advice from colleagues, when appropriate.
  10. Making responsible and effective use of the resources available to you (see Section 5.2).
  11. Encouraging patients to take interest in, and responsibility for, the management of their health, and supporting them in this.
  12. Ensuring that your personal views do not adversely affect the care of your patient.

4.2 Respect for medical colleagues and other healthcare professionals

Good patient care is enhanced when there is mutual respect and clear communication between all healthcare professionals involved in the care of the patient. Good medical practice involves:

  1. Communicating clearly, effectively, respectfully and promptly with other doctors and healthcare professionals caring for the patient.
  2. Acknowledging and respecting the contribution of all healthcare professionals involved in the care of the patient.
  3. Behaving professionally and courteously to colleagues and other practitioners including when using social media.

5.3 Health advocacy

There are significant disparities in the health status of different groups in the Australian community. These disparities result from social, cultural, geographic, health related and other factors. In particular, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians bear the burden of gross social, cultural and health inequity. Good medical practice involves using your expertise and influence to protect and advance the health and wellbeing of individual patients, communities and populations.

5.4 Public health

Doctors have a responsibility to promote the health of the community through disease prevention and control, education and screening. Good medical practice involves:

  1. Understanding the principles of public health, including health education, health promotion, disease prevention and control and screening.
  2. Participating in efforts to promote the health of the community and being aware of your obligations in disease prevention, screening and reporting notifiable diseases.

6.3 Doctors’ performance – you and your colleagues

The welfare of patients may be put at risk if a doctor is performing poorly. If you consider there is a risk, good medical practice involves:

  1. Complying with any statutory reporting requirements, including the mandatory reporting requirements under the National Law as it applies in your jurisdiction.10
  2. Recognising and taking steps to minimise the risks of fatigue, including complying with relevant state and territory occupational health and safety legislation.
  3. If you know or suspect that you have a health condition that could adversely affect your judgement or performance, following the guidance in Section 9.2 Your health.
  4. Taking steps to protect patients from risk posed by a colleague’s conduct, practice or ill health.
  5. Taking appropriate steps to assist your colleague to receive help if you have concerns about a colleague’s performance or fitness to practise.
  6. If you are not sure what to do, seeking advice from an experienced colleague, your employer, doctors’ health advisory services, professional indemnity insurers, the Medical Board of Australia or a professional organisation.

7.2 Continuing professional development

The Medical Board of Australia has established registration standards that set out the requirements for continuing professional development and for recency of practice under the National Law.11

Development of your knowledge, skills and professional behaviour must continue throughout your working life. Good medical practice involves:

  1. Keeping your knowledge and skills up to date.
  2. Participating regularly in activities that maintain and further develop your knowledge, skills and performance.
  3. Ensuring that your practice meets the standards that would be reasonably expected by the public and your peers.
  4. Regularly reviewing your continuing medical education and continuing professional development activities to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia.
  5. Ensuring that your personal continuing professional development program includes self-directed and practice-based learning.

9.2 Your health

Good medical practice involves:

  1. Having a general practitioner.
  2. Seeking independent, objective advice when you need medical care, and being aware of the risks of self-diagnosis and self-treatment.
  3. Making sure that you are immunised against relevant communicable diseases.
  4. Conforming to the legislation in your state or territory in relation to self-prescribing.
  5. Recognising the impact of fatigue on your health and your ability to care for patients, and endeavouring to work safe hours wherever possible.
  6. Being aware of the doctors’ health program in your state or territory if you need advice on where to seek help.
  7. If you know or suspect that you have a health condition or impairment that could adversely affect your judgement, performance or your patient’s health:
    • not relying on your own assessment of the risk you pose to patients
    • consulting your doctor about whether, and in what ways, you may need to modify your practice, and following the doctor’s advice.

9.3 Other doctors’ health

Doctors have a responsibility to assist medical colleagues to maintain good health. All health professionals have responsibilities in certain circumstances for mandatory notification under the National Law.16 Good medical practice involves:

  1. Providing doctors who are your patients with the same quality of care you would provide to other patients.
  2. Notifying the Medical Board of Australia if you are treating a doctor whose ability to practise may be impaired and may thereby be placing patients at risk. This is always a professional, and in some jurisdictions, a statutory responsibility under the National Law.
  3. Encouraging a colleague (whom you are not treating) to seek appropriate help if you believe they may be ill and impaired. If you believe this impairment is putting patients at risk, notify the Medical Board of Australia. It may also be wise to report your concerns to the doctor’s employer and to a doctors’ health program.
  4. Recognising the impact of fatigue on the health of colleagues, including those under your supervision, and facilitating safe working hours wherever possible.

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Guidelines for advertising regulated health services

6.2 Prohibited advertising under the National Law

Section 133 of the National Law prohibits advertising that:

  • is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be so
  • offers a gift, discount or other inducement to attract a user of the health service without stating the terms and conditions of the offer
  • uses testimonials or purported testimonials
  • creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, and/or
  • encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services.

The sections below explain each part of section 133.

6.2.1 Misleading or deceptive advertising

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be misleading or deceptive

A common meaning of ‘mislead or deceive’ is ‘lead into error’. The courts have considered the phrase ‘mislead or deceive’. People who are misled are almost by definition deceived as well. Misleading someone may include lying to them, leading them to a wrong conclusion, creating a false impression, leaving out (or hiding) important information, and/or making false or inaccurate claims.

As the ACCC explains, ‘Patients can be physically, psychologically or financially affected by misleading conduct, and these effects can be long lasting. It is essential that patients be given honest, accurate and complete information in a form they can understand.’5

Examples of advertising that may be false or misleading include those that:

  • mislead, either directly, or by implication, use of emphasis, comparison, contrast or omission
  • only provide partial information which could be misleading
  • use phrases like ‘as low as’ or ‘lowest prices’, or similar words or phrases when advertising fees for services, prices for products or price information in a way which is misleading or deceptive
  • imply that the regulated health services can be a substitute for public health vaccination or immunisation
  • use words, letters or titles that may mislead or deceive a health consumer into thinking that the provider of a regulated health service is more qualified or more competent than a holder of the same registration category (e.g. ‘specialising in XX’ when there is no specialist registration category for that profession)
  • advertise the health benefits of a regulated health service when there is no proof that such benefits can be attained,6and/or
  • compare different regulated health professions or practitioners, in the same profession or across professions, in a way that may mislead or deceive.

Using comparative advertising often risks misleading and/or deceiving the public because it can be difficult to include complete information when comparing one health service with another.

The ACCC has provided tips on how to avoid being misleading and deceptive when advertising. They may be useful for advertisers considering the requirements of the National Law:

  • Sell your professional services on their merits.
  • Be honest about what you say and do commercially.
  • Look at the overall impression of your advertisement. Ask yourself who the audience is and what the advertisement is likely to say or mean to them.
  • Remember, at a minimum, that it is the viewpoint of a layperson with little or no knowledge of the professional service you are selling that should be considered.7

More information about the meaning of ‘mislead or deceive’ is available on the ACCC website.

6.2.2 Gifts and discounts

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Offers a gift, discount or other inducement to attract a person to use the service or the business, unless the advertisement also states the terms and conditions of the offer

Any advertisement that offers gifts, prizes or free items must state the terms and conditions of the offer.

The use of unclear, unreadable or misleading terms and conditions attached to gifts, discounts and other inducements would not meet this requirement.

Consumers generally consider the word ‘free’ to mean absolutely free. When the costs of a ‘free offer’ are recouped through a price rise elsewhere, the offer is not actually free. An example is an advertisement which offers ‘make one consultation appointment, get one free’, but raises the price of the first consultation to largely cover the cost of the second (free) appointment. This type of advertising could also be misleading or deceptive.

The terms and conditions should be in plain English, readily understandable, accurate and not in themselves misleading about the conditions and limitations of the offered service.

Advertising may contravene the National Law when it:

  • contains price information that is inexact
  • contains price information that does not specify any terms and conditions or variables to an advertised price, or that could be considered misleading or deceptive
  • states an instalment amount without stating the total cost (which is a condition of the offer), and/or
  • does not state the terms and conditions of offers of gifts, discounts or other inducements.

6.2.3 Testimonials

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Uses testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business

The National Law does not define ‘testimonial’, so the word has its ordinary meaning of a positive statement about a person or thing. In the context of the National Law, a testimonial includes recommendations, or statements about the clinical aspects of a regulated health service.

The National Law ban on using testimonials means it is not acceptable to use testimonials in your own advertising, such as on your Facebook page, in a print, radio or television advertisement, or on your website. This means that::

  1. you cannot use or quote testimonials on a site or in social media that is advertising a regulated health service, including patients posting comments about a practitioner on the practitioner’s business website, and
  2. you cannot use testimonials in advertising a regulated health service to promote a practitioner or service.

Health practitioners should therefore not encourage patients to leave testimonials on websites health practitioners control that advertise their own regulated health services, and should remove any testimonials that are posted there.

The National Law does not directly regulate social media. However, testimonials used in advertising a regulated health service through social media may contravene the National Law.

There are many opportunities for consumers or patients to express their views online that are not affected by the National Law restriction on testimonials in advertising. Patients can share views through their personal social media such as Facebook or Twitter accounts or on information sharing websites or other online mechanisms that do not involve using testimonials in advertising a regulated health service.

For example, consumer and patient information sharing websites that invite public feedback/reviews about experience of a regulated health practitioner, business and/or service are generally intended to help consumers make more informed decisions and are not considered advertising of a regulated health service.

To clarify, practitioners are not responsible for removing (or trying to have removed) unsolicited testimonials published on a website or in social media over which they do not have control.

6.2.4 Unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

This can arise when advertisers take advantage of the vulnerability of health consumers in their search for a cure or remedy. The claims of beneficial treatment can range from unsubstantiated scientific claims, through to miracle cures. Advertising of treatments or services must not encourage or promote unreasonable expectations.

For example, advertising may contravene the National Law when it:

  • creates an unreasonable expectation (such as by exaggerating or by providing incomplete or biased information) of recovery time after providing a regulated health service
  • fails to disclose the health risks associated with a treatment
  • omits the necessary warning statement about a surgical or invasive procedure9
  • contains any inappropriate or unnecessary information or material that is likely to make a person believe their health or wellbeing may suffer from not taking or undertaking the health service, and/or
  • contains a claim, statement or implication that is likely to create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

– either expressly, or by omission, indicating that the treatment is infallible, unfailing, magical, miraculous or a certain, guaranteed or sure cure, and/or
– practitioner has an exclusive or unique skill or remedy, or that a product is ‘exclusive’ or contains a ‘secret ingredient’ that will benefit the patient.

6.2.5 Encouraging indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Directly or indirectly encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services

The unnecessary and indiscriminate use of regulated health services is not in the public interest and may lead to the public purchasing or undergoing a regulated health service that they do not need or require.\

Advertising may contravene the National Law when it:

  • encourages a person to improve their physical appearance together with the use of phrases such as ‘don’t delay’, ‘achieve the look you want’ and ‘looking better and feeling more confident’
  • provides a patient or client with an unsolicited appointment time
  • uses prizes, bonuses, bulk purchases, bulk discounts or other endorsements to encourage the unnecessary consumption of health services that are unrelated to clinical need or therapeutic benefit
  • uses promotional techniques that are likely to encourage consumers to use health services regardless of clinical need or therapeutic benefit, such as offers or discounts, online/internet deals, vouchers, and/or coupons, and/or
  • makes use of time-limited offers which influence a consumer to make decisions under the pressure of time and money rather than about their health care needs. An offer is considered time-limited if it is made to purchase for a limited or specific period of time, or available for use within a limited period of time or by a specific date, without an option to exit the arrangement.

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Social media policy

When using social media, health practitioners should remember that the National Law, their National Board’s code of ethics and professional conduct (the Code of conduct) and the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services (the Advertising guidelines) apply.

Registered health practitioners should only post information that is not in breach of these obligations by:

  • complying with professional obligations
  • complying with confidentiality and privacy obligations (such as by not discussing patients or posting pictures of procedures, case studies, patients, or sensitive material which may enable patients to be identified without having obtained consent in appropriate situations)
  • presenting information in an unbiased, evidence-based context, and
  • not making unsubstantiated claims.

Additional information may be available from professional bodies and/or employers, which aims to support health practitioners’ use of social media. However, the legal, ethical, and professional obligations that registered health practitioners must adhere to are set out in the National Boards’ respective Code of conduct and the Advertising guidelines.

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Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, Dr Kevin Coleman, Health Care Complaints Commission, Immunisation, Judy Wilyman, meryl dorey, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Australian antivaxer calls for execution of Channel 9’s Deborah Knight

Those of us who follow the behaviour of the anti-vaccination movement are quite used to seeing the violenceviolent rhetoric, death threats, threats of violence, abuse, misogyny and general vitriol heaped upon bereaved families, public health advocates, politicians, journalists and others by anti-vaccination activists and related conspiracy theorists.

This offensive and dangerous behaviour is generally incited by anti-vaccination leaders, such as Tasha David – the president of the discredited anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network – and Meryl Dorey – the immediate past-president and founder of the AVN.

After more than a year of infighting between the AVN’s leaders and the new brigade of Australian anti-vaccination liars – those who administer the rabid Facebook group, Anti-Vaccination Australia – these leaders of Australian anti-vaccinationism are attempting to instigate a truce, in an attempt  to form a common wall of misinformation against Australian healthcare. But, the tactics of anti-vaccination thugs are constant.

The two main administrators of Anti-Vaccination Australia, Belgin Sila Colak-Arslan, of Sydney – who recently featured in the news for her vile doxxing of a Byron Bay physiotherapist, his family, and his workplace, in her mistaken, fervent belief that he is Reasonable Hank – and Breana Stanley, of Melbourne – who featured in the news for lying to hospital emergency staff when her unvaccinated toddler contracted  measles; Stanley subsequently taking her knowingly-still-infected toddler to a shopping centre – have previously knowingly lied to the media about abuse which originates in their group.

Today, a member of the Anti-Vaccination Australia group – incited by anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic, Islamophobic, Port Arthur denialist, Adam Crabb, of Sydney – and obviously inspired by Donald Trump’s recent attacks on the media – called for Today host Deborah Knight to be “killed on site”:

These “journalists” are enemy of the people, should be killed on site

To give dangerous antivaxer Bryce Fraser some credit, he did go back and edit his comment:

These “journalists” are enemy of the people, should be killed on sight

The anti-vaccination leaders will  once again deny that this happened; maybe they’ll even threaten legal action, again, if anyone states that this did happen.

Meanwhile, over on Crabb’s blog, Crabb refers to Deborah Knight as “the Blonde troll”:

Greg Hunt, are you kidding me??? what does this bottom feeder know about vaccine damage? the Blonde troll calls us, Offenders which means a person who commits an illegal act. We are offenders because we want to protect our children from brain damage & death? Because we don’t want our little angels to suffer hundreds of seizures a day or become a vegetable in a wheelchair, for life? We are offenders because we do not wish or consent to our kids becoming a product of the medical industrial complex & treated like sick cattle? this only goes to show that Australia is heading back into the dark ages & these ghouls make me sick. These despicable & heartless trolls need to have their rotten faces shoved in the misery & devastation that vaccines have caused so many families worldwide.

Here’s the Today segment:

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Update

The Fraser comment appears to have been deleted, replaced by this new comment, again from Fraser:

These “journalists” are enemy of the people, should be drawn and quartered

As well as this comment, from Skye Ollington:

She really is a stupid blonde

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Posted in abuse, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, death threats, meryl dorey, mobbing, public health, Public mobbing, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chiropractors’ Association of Australia finally comes out in favour of immunisation

Today, the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia finally came out in support of immunisation, giving a backhander to long-time ally, the anti-vaccination organisation, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network in the process:

It has come to our attention that the Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network contains a link to the CAA National website. We have requested that they remove this link to our website as a matter of urgency.

The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) does not support the views promoted by the Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network. We have also informed them that the CAA has adopted the following policy on immunisation:

“The CAA supports the Australian government’s view that immunisation is an important health care initiative. It is outside the scope of practice for chiropractors. When considering immunisation, patients should consult with either their GP or Maternal and Child Health Nurse for further information.”

When providing chiropractic care to infants and young children, practitioners must have a good understanding of the principles of public health including disease prevention and health promotion.

Congratulations, CAA. It’s been a long, hard road for you; but, you still need to divest yourselves of your anti-vaccination members, former presidents, and former board members*.

Of course, none of this would have happened unless evidence-based chiropractors — mostly within the new association, Chiropractic Australia —  rose up and spoke against the crackpots in the profession.

Now, about those subluxations…

*This comment by the AVN’s Meryl Dorey was made to an evidence-based chiropractor in December 2016. Just two months ago, Meryl Dorey was mocking a chiropractor for supporting immunisation:

_______________________________

 Update February 7 2017

Overnight, Meryl Dorey published a scathing attack on the CAA:

The blog post contained the following:

I have spoken with the AVN Committee and to date, nobody from the CAA has contacted them about removing any link. In addition, since I was the one who set up the AVN’s web page and their links (medical, natural health and general), I can tell you that for many years, the CAA link has been reciprocal – in other words, they linked to the AVN and the AVN linked to the CAA.

Are the leaders of the chiropractic profession in Australia now guilty of cowardice? When their founder, Daniel David Palmer, felt so committed to the health of his patients that he spent time in prison in their defence, have his descendants strayed so far from their roots that their income has now become more important than their morals and knowledge?

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I revere the chiropractic profession. My family’s healthcare provider has been a chiropractor for the last 25 years. But when I see that profession so afraid to hold to the courage of their convictions that they are willing to allow their patients to make decisions based only on information they themselves disagree with, I have to ask whether their usefulness as a healing modality is in its last days?

In the comments, underneath her blog post, Dorey also stated:

I…have received email messages from chiropractors who say that they left the CAA years ago due to their drifting towards repression and tyranny. What a shame that so many chiropractors are not well-informed about this vital issue.

Today, the CAA issued this blunt statement:

Ouch.

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Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, chiropractic, Immunisation, meryl dorey, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tweed Daily News promotes anti-vaccination and chemtrails conspiracy theorists

In its hard copy edition today, the Tweed Daily News gave a free plug to both the anti-vaccination movement and the antivax conspiracy theory movie, Vaxxed, produced by and starring the disgraced former gastroenterologist, anti-vaccination leader Andrew Wakefield. The dishonest vanity movie is being promoted around Australia, in secret venues, by the disreputable Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, an anti-vaccination organisation with a public health warning against its name.

From the Bring Vaxxed to Australia/New Zealand public Facebook group:

In his article, journalist Mitchell Crawley published uncontested anti-vaccination lies from conspiracy theorists Donna Koscica and Robert Deutch:

  • Koscica claimed that her husband died from cancer, which was caused by vaccines. There is no evidence that the latter is true.
  • Koscica repeated the long-debunked lie that SV-40 in the polio vaccines cause cancer.
  • Koscica wrongly implied that the government does not allow informed consent in the provision of immunisation.
  • Koscica wrongly claimed that vaccine ingredient lists are not available.
  • Robert Deutch — a chemtrail conspiracy theorist — wrongly claimed that people are unaware of real vaccine adverse reactions.
  • Deutch wrongly implied that immunisation providers do not discuss vaccine adverse events with patients.

This region of NSW has historically low rates of childhood immunisation. The Tweed Daily News should be ashamed of itself, and it should publish a retraction and an apology to its readership.

Full image of the newspaper article available here.

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Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, Conspiracy theory, Immunisation, meryl dorey, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Robert F Kennedy Jr to speak at anti-vaccination, chemtrails, chiropractic and conspiracy theory event

Billy DeMoss is an anti-vaccination chiropractor and conspiracy theorist who is persona non grata in Australia, due to his obscene anti-vaccinationism.

DeMoss holds an annual chiropractic event, named CalJam. It is the premier chiropractic, anti-vaccination and chemtrails event on the US calendar, drawing up to three thousand chiropractors and related conspiracy theorists every year.

Robert F Kennedy Jr is a long-time anti-vaccination activist who has dedicated this activism to promoting the flawed, debunked, non-link between autism and mercury poisoning, via vaccines. Astonishingly, Kennedy still promotes this lie, even a decade after thimerosal was removed from vaccines.

Recently, Kennedy claimed to have accepted an offer from Donald Trump, to head up a vaccine safety panel; Trump’s team quickly denied such an offer was on the table.

Just one hour ago, Billy DeMoss confirmed that Robert F Kennedy Jr has agreed to appear at CalJam, alongside charlatans like David Wolfe, Erin Elizabeth (Mercola’s partner), Suzanne Humphries, Del Bigtree, DeMoss, Tim Young and more:

Following are just some of DeMoss’ past posts. This gives you a flavour of CalJam.

May 9 2016, attacking California Senator Dr Richard Pan as a literal Nazi:

February 26 2016, photographing what he believes is a chemtrails holocaust:

January 18 2016, calling autistic individuals “dumbed down enslaved sloths”:

November 16 2015, calling the terrorist attacks on Paris a false flag:

July 15 2015, calling the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School a false flag:

November 14 2014, citing a raft of conspiracy theories  including 9/11, ebola, H1N1, SARS, “BERD FLU”, vaccines and autism, Sandy Hook, New World Order, water fluoridation, GMO, and television!

And, finally, this bizarre, demented, offensive rant from February 1 2014:

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Posted in abuse, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, chiropractic, Conspiracy theory, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Associate of WA’s Hammond family attacks Light for Riley in Facebook message

The Australian anti-vaccination movement has been involved in the harassment and vilification of families who have lost babies and children to vaccine preventable diseases for years.

In 2009, incited by Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, anti-vaccination activists went after the family of Dana McCaffery, who died from whooping cough in March 2009. The bile has continued to this day.

The McCafferys went public when Dana died, so as to warn the community about a whooping cough epidemic about which NSW Health had failed to alert them, especially in areas of low immunisation rates like the NSW Northern Rivers, the home of the McCafferys.

The McCafferys had never antagonised the anti-vaccination movement; they had only ever asked for anti-vaccinationists  – like Judy Wilyman, of the University of Wollongong; Meryl Dorey of the AVN; and the trolls who took their lead from Dorey and Wilyman – to cease talking about Dana, and to show some common decency. Anti-vaccinationists refused to do this; they continued the attacks and the slurs against the McCafferys. The overwhelming evidence suggests that anti-vaccinationists do not do common decency.

In March 2015, baby Riley Hughes died from whooping cough. The Hughes family immediately set about ensuring that this tragedy did not happen to more families. The Hughes were successful in having the free maternal whooping cough booster rolled out around Australia, gaining Catherine Hughes the well-deserved 2016 WA Young Australian of the Year award. The Hughes have since gone on to establish the Immunisation Foundation of Australia.

Unfortunately, the Hughes family has also been targeted by anti-vaccination activists – incited again by Dorey, the AVN, and Wilyman – in a coordinated campaign of harassment and vilification, including the two-year-long harassment and trolling of the Light for  Riley Facebook page, by named and fake-named anti-vaccinationists.

On January 14 2017 at 2117 hours (AWST – WA time) – just two days ago – an anti-vaccination activist – using the fake name, “Jennifer Donaldson” – sent this message to Catherine and Greg Hughes, via the Light for Riley Facebook page:

The fake (or sockpuppet) profile was deleted from Facebook, yesterday morning. This is a screenshot of its profile, taken just before it was deleted:

“Jennifer Donaldson” is an administrator – or was, up until the profile’s deletion – of the Facebook group which was set up by Tanya Hammond and her mother, Lois Vitler, to promote the case of Ben Hammond, of whom it is alleged he suffered an adverse reaction to the whooping cough booster. The group is called: Severe Adverse Reaction to Vaccination – Compensation for Australians. This screenshot of the group’s admins was taken on December 27 2016:

“Jenifer Donaldson” was made an administrator of the Hammond group on December 12 2016, before the then-brand new fake profile had even had time to load a profile picture:

Here is just one interaction from the “Donaldson” profile, in the Hammond group, discussing this blog with Danny Jovica, himself the creator of a conspiracy-ridden, paralegal Facebook group. All of the “Donaldson” posts and comments are since deleted, along with the profile:

So, what on Earth is the Hammond colleague talking about in its vitriolic message, from two days ago?

On January 3 2016, news hit  several media outlets that the Hammond family is attempting to sue the WA health minister:

After failing in several appeals for an ex gratia payment from the Government, the Hammonds are pursuing a negligence claim against the WA health minister — litigation they believe could be a watershed for vaccine injury law in Australia.

On the same day, Catherine and Greg Hughes posted in support of Ben Hammond’s fight for compensation, whilst noting that it was  hoped that the Hammond’s would steer away from their deep involvement with the Australian anti-vaccination movement, as has been well documented:

I wasn’t sure whether to post this or not, but after a lot of thought I feel I should.

Serious, proven reactions to vaccines can and do (rarely) happen.

Whenever we take panadol, use shampoo or eat food, we are always accepting that there is a small risk we could have a reaction.

However, when we vaccinate, we do so not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of the community. We are encouraged (and rightly so) by doctors, nurses, friends and family to take that (tiny) risk and protect our community.

Therefore, I believe the community should “look after” and compensate those like Ben Hammond who did their bit to protect babies in NICU (who really do need to be protected from deadly respiratory infections like whooping cough).

While it should be noted that there is no compensation for those who have suffered or died from vaccine preventable diseases, I do believe we should have a compensation scheme implemented for these extremely rare cases of vaccine reactions.

I wish Ben’s family all the best and hope they get the compensation they deserve. At the same time, I hope they also re-consider their anti-vaccination activism (which is not reported in this story) – we don’t need more babies dying from whooping cough & other vaccine preventable diseases 😔

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts

Importantly –  in relation to the abusive message sent to the Hughes by the Hammond colleague – the Hughes family made no other media statement, nor gave any interviews, either on video or in print, about the Hammond case. None.

Another article did appear on The West Australian website, in which the journalist lifted all of the Hughes’ quotes directly from the Light for Riley Facebook post, without even consulting the page. In this article the support for Ben Hammond’s compensation, from the Hughes family, was even included in the headline:

If the Hammond family would like to provide the real name and contact details of their colleague and fellow group administrator, they can email me at reasonablehank [at] gmail [dot] com, so details can be passed to the appropriate authorities.

Today, the Hughes family appeared in The West Australian, again, for their successful public health advocacy which, if it hasn’t already, will ensure more babies are spared an awful death from whooping cough:

Almost four in five pregnant women in WA had the free whooping cough vaccine last year, one of the highest rates in the world.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that can be fatal in babies too young to be immunised.

The free vaccine passes on immunity of about 90 per cent to the unborn baby, protecting them in the first few weeks of life before they can have their own vaccinations against the potentially fatal disease.

WA Health Department figures show 78 per cent of pregnant women had the vaccine in 2016, up from 70 per cent in 2015. When the free vaccine was introduced in WA in May 2015, two months after the death of four-week-old Perth baby Riley Hughes, fewer than 5 per cent of expectant women received the jab.

Riley’s parents Catherine and Greg Hughes started the Light for Riley campaign to raise awareness of maternal vaccinations.

Riley’s mother, Mrs Hughes, who started the Light for Riley vaccination campaign, welcomed the figures, but said there were still too many mums not getting the free jabs.

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Posted in abuse, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, Immunisation, Light for Riley, meryl dorey, mobbing, public health, Public mobbing, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment