Dr Kevin Coleman – the antivaxers’ champion 2

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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:

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 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

More ugly misogyny against Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy from the antivax movement

One of life’s few certainties is that the anti-vaccination movement will always undo the conspiracies it propagates: that it is a movement of peace and love, and intellect; as opposed to the venomous, hateful, threatening, anti-Semitic, anti-intellectual, misogynistic cult we all know to be apparent, even by the most rudimentary of browsing on social media. This is only two days old, still published on the WIN News Shepparton Facebook page [edit: 45 minutes after this blog post was published, WIN News Shepparton deleted the whole thread in which this comment, and others, appeared for two days]:

More on that offensive Vazquez threat, down the page.

Over the last few months, the anti-vaccination cult has been in overdrive in an attempt to downplay the existence of its poisonous heart.

In October 2016, Grant MacArthur published an article in the Herald Sun, in which Victorian Health Minister, Jill Hennessy, provided some of the vile commentary which has been afforded her by anti-vaccination activists, both directly, via Twitter and email, and in anti-vaccination Facebook groups. I’ve included the bulk of the text, here, for a reason, which will become apparent down the page:

VICTORIAN Health Minister Jill Hennessy has turned the tables on vile anti-vaccine campaigners who threaten and harass her.

Ms Hennessy has shone a light on the practices of militant “anti-vaxxer” trolls by releasing a swath of their abusive messages, which include calls for her execution and prayers that she fall ill with cancer.

On making their threats public in a remarkable Herald Sun online video, Ms Hennessy said Victorians should be aware of anti-vaccine proponents’ true nature so as to be better able to balance their unfounded claims against science.

“No level of abuse from the anti-vaccination movement changes the fact that vaccinations save lives … (or) that without vaccinating our children we will not defeat many of the great public health challenges that we have,” she said.

“So they can type away with acid fingers providing all sorts of awful insults to me — it will have absolutely no impact on my personal commitment to vaccination and staring down the myth-makers.”

Ms Hennessy said she was bombarded with hate mail and misogynistic and often violent social media messages whenever policies to increase vaccination rates were aired.

She wants parents who have legitimate questions about vaccination to consult doctors, not anti-vaxxers.

“People should be under no illusions: the anti-vaccination movement is not a group of peace-loving hippies, as some might assume. They are an organised group that peddle misinformation that is dangerous, and their advocacy techniques are unhelpful, abusive and downright rude,” she said.

“There is a certain irony that people who purport to advocate on behalf of children’s wellbeing make threats of violence, threaten the wellbeing of vaccination advocates’ children, and use language which at its best is childish and at its worst constitutes harassment.

“If you are unable to prosecute an argument without having to go to such steps, then you probably don’t have a very good argument in the first place — and that is very true of the anti-vax movement.

Belgin Colak, an administrator for the Anti-Vaccination Australia Facebook community of 5800 members, said she was unaware of any threats to the minister.

There is no suggestion any of the threats to Ms Hennessy have been made via Ms Colak’s Facebook group, by its members, or by her.

“As a woman I don’t agree with anyone being spoken to in that way,” Ms Colak said.

Remember those comments from anti-vaccination activist, Belgin Colak/Arslan.

The minister appeared on The Project, on Network Ten:

The minister also appeared on Today, on the Nine Network:

We know the comments directed at and sent to the minister are real. The anti-vaccination movement is known for this stuff: just search “threats and abuse” on my blog. And, these are just some of the all-too-real examples I shared publicly, with the minister, from the Anti-Vaccination Australia Facebook group:

This is the same person; she changed her name after her comments were published:

Melbourne anti-vaccination activist, Olivier Vles – the guy responsible for The Unreasonable Wank – has been at the forefront of this inept and dishonest, disinformation campaign, spamming antivax groups with these conspiracy theory posts against the minister, which claim that the Herald Sun article was faked, and that none of the messages were real:

And Sydney anti-vaccination activist Adam Crabb – of the anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist The Crazz Files – cited the Herald Sun article only yesterday, in Anti-Vaccination Australia, along with a screenshot of the aforementioned text, calling it fake:

It is startling (okay, it’s not really that startling), that anti-vaccination activists would continue this ruse, even as their awful commentary across many fora continues. The following are just a few examples from recent days, in the Anti-Vaccination Australia group, alone. Even on posts by Adam Crabb!

Here is Bruce Thompson, on an Adam Crabb post, on January 2 2017. Thompson is the electorate officer for NSW Nationals MP, Leslie Williams. I’m not even joking. And, as an aside, Williams also knows about recent hideous comments Thompson has provided in relation to journalists Jane Hansen and Claire Harvey:

Other comments on the Thompson/Crabb thread, discussing Jill Hennessy:

The following are all from Anti-Vaccination Australia, as well.

January 5 2017:

January 5 2016, Crabb linked to a defamatory Mike Adams YouTube video in which Jill Hennessy is called a “baby killer” and a “Aborigine baby murderer”; the title of the deranged video being, Australian health minister Jill Hennessy part of the Vaccines Mafia ?:

Evil Jill Hennsey

And lets not forget the end of the video (which many of us have watched, with alarm and despair), in which Mike Adams highlights his Glock side-arm, for the camera, after spending 17 minutes vilifying an Australian state health minister!

On January 6 2017, Crabb claimed that the minister is mentally unstable:

On January 6 2017, Blue Mountains NSW antivaxer, Lynette Kennedy posted these lies about the minister:

While others piled on Crabb’s post, including in regard to the minister’s hair, of all things:

So,what has got anti-vaccination activists all hot and bothered about the minister, this time? A new immunisation campaign, as set out in this press release:

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a new campaign to reinforce how immunisation saves lives and keeps children safe from deadly diseases.

Acting Premier James Merlino today joined Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, in the City of Port Phillip, to launch the campaign and remind parents to ensure their children are fully immunised before heading back to childcare and school after the holiday season.

The Labor Government’s tough new No Jab, No Play law requires all Victorian children to have a record of immunisation to be enrolled in childcare and kindergarten, unless they have a medical reason.

Currently, 93.5 per cent of Victorian children under five are fully immunised, however in many parts of the state immunisation rates are still far too low, with some suburbs falling below 90 per cent.

More needs to be done to increase coverage and reach the 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ required to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles.

Despite scientific evidence proving they are safe and effective, and have saved millions of lives, around 25 per cent of people still have concerns about vaccines.

From 15 January, a new campaign promoting the benefits of immunisation and the No Jab No Play laws by telling real-life stories will hit TV screens, radio, cinemas, online and social media.

It also encourages parents to keep immunisations up-to-date, with the Government’s VaxOnTime app available for download to help busy parents keep track of when their child’s vaccinations are due.

The campaign aims to motivate parents concerned about vaccines to find out more from reputable sources and learn about the importance of immunisation.

To learn more about immunisation visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/immunisation

Accordingly, this news story was picked up by many Victorian news outlets. One of those outlets was WIN News Shepparton. Readers might remember that WIN News has form for allowing anti-vaccination activists to appear in their stories. What was less expected was that WIN News Shepparton would allow the following awful comments, from anti-vaccinationists, to remain on its Facebook page:

Remember, above, those October 2016 comments from Belgin Colak/Arslan? Arslan said this: “As a woman I don’t agree with anyone being spoken to in that way”:

she should be more concerned with the magic number on her bathroom scales. Minister of health, what a joke!

Melanie Chantel she deserves all the truthful comments

Nazis

Funny that our health minister doesn’t look so healthy herself

Too much bleach gone into her big, fat obnoxious head

you irresponsible cow!

Criminal

She is a despicable evil woman

And then the comment from Frankie Joseoh Vazquez. Of course, Vazquez is well-known to many readers for his online death threats and abuse. He is still welcome in all  anti-vaccination fora, including Anti-Vaccination Australia, which is administered by Belgin Colak/Arslan and Breana Stanley:

Jill Hennessy is hiding under a rock he rdays are fuking numbered I assure u the thing ha sold her soul to the draconians she’s a cocaine addicted mut 

little  miss piggy

How are unhealthy overweight women in charge of health? 😳
🎯This is a legitimate question.

I’m glad you found a way to ask nicely! I stopped myself from saying what i thought! She is sickening:(

Shawn Dhu her lies are sickening for sure. Making up fake tweets against her with 200 characters when the limit is 140. 😳 Good one, JH. 👍🏻💥 #liarliarpantsonfire 

Jill Hennessy is the herd of turd, Shit for brains. Bring on inauguration of donald trump he tells the truth and will save children because money cant persuade him into lying. You are an insult to intelligence jill, the money is more important than safety to this evil woman.

As always, the best at highlighting the the atrocious bahaviour and personalities of the anti-vaccination movement is the anti-vaccination movement. Hopefully the minister seeks some legal recourse against some of these anti-vaccination activists.

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Posted in abuse, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, meryl dorey, mobbing, public health, Public mobbing, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

University of Wollongong antivaxer Judy Wilyman (and Prof Brian Martin?) attempts to censor this blog

Two days ago, anti-vaccination activist – and successful PhD candidate from the University of Wollongong, under the supervision of anti-vaccination enabler, and friend of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, Professor Brian Martin – Judy Wilyman, sent this blog threats that she would take action against me if I did not remove evidence from my blog that is unfavourable to Wilyman, Martin, and the UoW. Wilyman accuses me of “defaming people”, “fabricating” evidence, and of “misinforming the public about academic research and the vaccination issue in general”:

Removal of false, misleading and defamatory material from your blog about my academic research

To Peter Tierney (aka Reasonablehank)

I note that you are using a deceptive title for your blog titled “ReasonableHank”. You have called yourself “Reasonable..” yet you are constantly misrepresenting, fabricating and defaming people who attempt to debate issues that go against your own beliefs or desired outcomes. In particular you have defamed me with your fabricated comments and stories about my research, and quotes taken out of context.

I am asking you to remove any references to me or my academic research from your blog/website. Your comments  have misquoted me or are fabricated untruthful stories about my comments. This is defamatory material that is suppressing proper debate of important scientific topics. In particular, I am asking you to remove the information provided in the attached screenshots and any other references to me or my research on your blog that misrepresents my comments or arguments.

If the University of Wollongong wishes to make a statement about its support of student researchers and the promotion of their views then please ensure that you obtain a generalised statement about UOW’s  policy and remove the statement by UOW that specifically mentions my name (attachment 2 “RH uni name misuse”) [edit: Wilyman Attachment 4]. This statement misrepresents academic research to the public.

At no time have I ever “attacked grieving parents” or used abuse or ridicule to present my arguments. I am also asking you to remove all comments criticising and defaming my supervisor, Professor Brian Martin and also derogatory comments about the University of Wollongong. These comments are unsupported and suppressing academic debate on vaccination. I am also asking you to remove comments by others that you are associating with me to tarnish my research.

If you do not remove all comments about me and my research from your blog further action will be taken to make you accountable for fabricating and misinforming the public about academic research and the vaccination issue in general.

Yours Sincerely,

Judy Wilyman PhD

In the six attachments sent by Wilyman, she takes umbrage to two blog posts, in particular [edit: for readability, I have placed the attachments in order, in this post, and I have renamed them in the correct order; Wilyman sent them out of order].

Firstly, Wilyman orders the removal of a captioned-as-fake, mock newspaper image (Wilyman Attachment 1) from this blog post, University of Wollongong antivax PhD student champions neonatal haemorrhaging, in which it is proven that Wilyman promoted a video interview of an anti-vaccination activist – on conspiracy-theory-central, Infowars – in which the activist tells lies about the safety of the provision of Vitamin K to newborn infants. It is shown, in my blog post, that the withholding of Vitamin K has caused – and will cause again – the death of an infant, from vitamin K deficiency bleeding:

Wilyman Attachment 1:

Secondly, Wilyman includes five more attachments, taken from this blog post, Judy Wilyman has no clothes, and demands the removal of the evidence contained in them; evidence which is supported by the linked articles and posts. I’ll include the substantial text here, for the readers to follow at their leisure. From Wilyman’s second attachment:

The University of Wollongong’s perennial anti-vaccine PhD student, Judy Wilyman, is the great, big hope of Australian anti-vaccinationism.

Does she say “the science” a lot? Tick.

Does she say “the research” a lot? Tick.

Does she vilify bereaved parents with slurs of kickbacks? Tick.

Does she refer to these bereaved parents’ deceased babies as “anecdotes”? Tick.

Does she and her cabal of thugs organise anti-vaccine protests under the disingenuous facade of “pro-choice”; the same thugs having followed her example of vilifying bereaved parents; some of the thugs even claiming that the bereaved parents’ baby did not even exist, as some kind of Big Pharma agenda, a thinly masked sales pitch? Tick.

Does she resent the tag “anti-vaccine”; whilst only providing information which is against vaccination, a lot? Tick.

Perfect! Wilyman is perfect. And the added bonus with Wilyman is that she appears to have the ongoing imprimatur of the University of Wollongong; who in turn would appear to have had the word “disrepute” erased from all of its libraries’ dictionaries. I’m wondering if they have a sort of Safe Eyes software installed on the main servers – Safe Disrepute – which seeks out and destroys all versions of the word, lest anyone get any uppity ideas about what integrity means to past, present, and future alumni and academics, and other staff. They all carry Wilyman’s stink, now.  And they’re not happy.

Wilyman’s official Facebook page is called Vaccination Choice. It is the official Facebook page for her website, Vaccination Decisions: Know Your Vaccines. Her website – to which we shall return – features this conspiracy theory click-bait de rigueur:

The truth behind vaccinations. What the government doesn’t tell you.

Wilyman Attachment 2:

The third attachment speaks for itself, really:

This is the newsletter with three stills from that YouTube video, which Wilyman linked from her official newsletter. Does she think no one else will watch it? Does Wilyman think no one will check her claims, ever? Something is not right, and it never has been:

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This is not a one-off: this is standardissueWilyman.

Wilyman Attachment 3:

The fourth attachment contains a public tweet, of a public statement, which was published by the University of Wollongong on one of its official Twitter streams. Bizarrely, Wilyman demands that this be removed from my blog:

And these issues aren’t new for the University of Wollongong. In 2013 it was forced to issue a statement about her, on Twitter:

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Questions have rightly been raised in public about the level of appropriate supervision given to Wilyman by Professor Brian Martin – himself a friend of the anti-vaccination movement, guiding the execrable Australian Vaccination skeptics Network and its cruel ideologue, and long-term Wilyman friend, Meryl Dorey, away from appropriate regulatory scrutiny – and the University of Wollongong believes that Martin is performing his supervisory role of Ms Wilyman in a satisfactory manner and that he is an appropriate supervisor for her study. Indeed the follow-up question is, then, why is someone who is being supervised appropriately, on vaccination policies, on “the science”, routinely citing conspiracy cranks? Is the department infected? I’m Just Asking Questions.

Wilyman Attachment 4:

In the fifth and sixth attachments, Wilyman conveniently leaves out the evidence which was the very reason for the contextual existence of the fifth and sixth attachments. I’ll expand below.

Here are Wilyman’s final two attachments, and the text contained in them:

Wilyman Attachment 5:

movement, guiding the execrable Australian Vaccination skeptics Network and its cruel ideologue, and long-term Wilyman friend, Meryl Dorey, away from appropriate regulatory scrutiny – and the University of Wollongong believes that Martin is performing his supervisory role of Ms Wilyman in a satisfactory manner and that he is an appropriate supervisor for her study. Indeed the follow-up question is, then, why is someone who is being supervised appropriately, on vaccination policies, on “the science”, routinely citing conspiracy cranks? Is the department infected? I’m Just Asking Questions.

Getting back to Wilyman’s recent Facebook shenanigans, it is not difficult to watch the real Wilyman in the natural pastures of anti-vaccinationism. For yet another example, Wilyman is a member of this closed group, Anti-Vaccination Australia:

Wilyman Attachment 6:

I mean, does Wilyman ever stop to consider anything she does or says – anywhere, anytime – preferring only to vilify critics who rightfully and appropriately point out her demonstrable and exasperatingly ubiquitous failings of logic and comprehension; Wilyman citing only her tired drone of “you are derogatory…this is derogatory…they are being derogatory about the science presented to the community from the university which is the science the gubment doesn’t want you to see…the science…derogatory…”?

Has the University of Wollongong even re-read her masters thesis? I know people who have. Does it still stand up to academic rigour, University of Wollongong? I’m Just Asking Questions.

When is enough going to be enough for the University of Wollongong and it long-suffering fans?

When is academic freedom just plain old disrepute?

So, what pertinent, contextual sections did Judy Wilyman’s intellectual dishonesty assist her in failing to include in her attachments? What exactly was Judy Wilyman at pains to omit? What did Judy Wilyman omit from right in between those fifth and sixth attachments?

This. Wilyman liked the following derogatory attempt at fat-shaming, posted in the Facebook group, Anti-Vaccination Australia, by the now infamous liar, Belgin Colak. Here is my full text, from my blog post, followed by the screenshots Wilyman didn’t include:

Getting back to Wilyman’s recent Facebook shenanigans, it is not difficult to watch the real Wilyman in the natural pastures of anti-vaccinationism. For yet another example, Wilyman is a member of this closed group, Anti-Vaccination Australia:

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And Wilyman even liked this attempt at fat-shaming myself, posted by the group’s adolescent creator, Belgin Sila Colak:

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Here’s another version, in case the University of Wollongong can’t see the previous one:

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I mean, does Wilyman ever stop to consider anything she does or says – anywhere, anytime – preferring only to vilify critics who rightfully and appropriately point out her demonstrable and exasperatingly ubiquitous failings of logic and comprehension; Wilyman citing only her tired drone of “you are derogatory…this is derogatory…they are being derogatory about the science presented to the community from the university which is the science the gubment doesn’t want you to see…the science…derogatory…”?

Has the University of Wollongong even re-read her masters thesis? I know people who have. Does it still stand up to academic rigour, University of Wollongong? I’m Just Asking Questions.

When is enough going to be enough for the University of Wollongong and it long-suffering fans?

When is academic freedom just plain old disrepute?

Just breathtaking.

This intellectual dishonesty comes from the same anti-vaccination activist who has been sending – nay, spamming – ultimatums, orders, and directions – citing the Nuremberg Code and/or charges of crimes against humanity – to a list of University of Wollongong public health academics and administrators, media personnel, and other public health advocates. Wilyman has spammed this list with approximately 17 bewildering emails in just 3 months. Some of these emails even landed on consecutive days. Here is an example, from September 2016:

Subject: Film Censorship and Financial Incentives for Medical Interventions for Healthy People in Australia
Importance: High

Open Letter
University of Wollongong,
Executive Dean,
Faculty of Medicine, Science and Health
26 September 2016

Dear Professor Jones and UOW Academics,

RE: Financial Incentives for Medical Interventions in Healthy People

Thankyou for getting involved in the vaccination debate by signing your names to Heather Yeatman’s, (UOW Head of Public Health) comments on the UOW website. The Australian public expects that if UOW academics are supporting and promoting government immunisation policies then you are able to provide the supportive evidence for the claims that you are signing your name to. Particularly as these comments are being used to enforce social services policies that breach the Nuremberg Code (as stated in my letter dated 23 September 2016) and are not supported by any legislation or regulation in any health act in Australia. Hence they are not for a legitimate public health purpose.

Here is the link to my open letter to Alison Jones (toxicologist) (http:// vaccinationdecisions.net /newsletter-129-open-letter-3-university-of-wollongong-correcting-uow-academics-on-immunisation/) requesting the evidence for the claims that UOW academics have supported regarding immunisation policies. If you would like to be removed from this email debate, without this evidence being provided by Alison Jones or Heather Yeatman, please could you remove your name from the UOW website where you are providing your ‘beliefs’ about vaccination policies and not your personal opinion based on ‘evidence-based medicine’.

As Australian public health authorities will not attend public forums to debate this issue, and as the media will only present this issue as an ‘anti-vaccination’ debate and not an ‘over-vaccination’ debate, then this is the only avenue Australians have for a debate on this very important health topic. Please also note (in the email below) the censorship in Australia of the fraudulent studies that have been used by the US CDC to discredit the link between vaccines and autism. This censorship is occurring in the Australian media and in Australian cinemas.

I look forward to your prompt response to this request because coercive vaccination policies have already been implemented in our genetically diverse population and these are causing significant harm to an unknown percentage of the Australian population. Below is the email that was sent by a concerned member of the public to the NSW government (24 September 2016) regarding the censorship of vaccination science used in government policies.

Kind regards,

Judy Wilyman PhD

Here is another cracker from September 2016:

September 30, 2016

Subject: Chronic Illness and Vaccination Rates in the Australian Population
Importance: High

Open Letter

To the Minister for Social Services

The Honourable Christian Porter MP,

Re Financial Incentives for Medical Interventions in Healthy People; a breach of the Nuremberg Code

Directives:
Silence or no response to these directives is an admission that your policy is invalid.
1. I direct you to provide me with a legitimate public health reason for making the full schedule of vaccines (16 plus) mandatory for social welfare benefits in 2016.
2. I direct Alison Jones, toxicologist and executive dean of the UOW Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, to provide her professional opinion that combining the listed ingredients in the schedule of 16 plus vaccines mandated in this policy, in newborn infants/children/adults, is safe and health promoting, in a genetically diverse population.

Dear Minister Porter MP,

Did you know that a recent study in the Lancet (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) ranked the health of 188 countries from 1990-2015 but did not include a measure of the morbidity (chronic illness and disability) in these countries? Quality of life and health depend upon this measure. In 2004 41% of Australian children (0 -14 yrs) had a chronic illness (AIHW).

That is, autism, anaphylaxis, allergies, speech delay/neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, parkinsons, diabetes etc) illness that has escalated since 1990, with the increased use of vaccines at this timea correlation that has never been investigated.

Australia’s public health authorities including Peter McIntyre (NCIRS), Robert Booy (NCIRS), Terry Nolan (ATAGI), Alison Jones (UOW Faculty of Medicine), Heather Yeatman (PHAA) and Jonathon Carapetis (Telethon Institute), and UOW academics – have not provided a reason for making 16 plus vaccines mandatory in social welfare policies for children up to 20 years of age. And I note that you have not provided a reason for making this schedule of vaccines compulsory.

There are no public health authorities that have provided a legitimate reason for making the full schedule of vaccines compulsory in infants or adults. And there is no legislation or regulation in any health act in Australia to legitimise your policy that was introduced on 1 January 2016.

Your No Jab, No Pay policy has made it mandatory for parents to inject Aluminium hydroxide, Aluminium phosphate, Borax (sodium borate – insecticide), Thimerosal (50% Mercury Compound), Formaldehyde, Gelatin, Phenol, Monosodium Glutamate(MSG), Phenoxyethanol, Egg Protein, Yeast, Antibiotics – Neomycin, Polymxin, Gentamicin, Kanamycin and more, into their infants/children to receive a financial incentive – without a legitimate reason to do this. 

I request that Alison Jones, toxicologist and executive dean of the UOW Faculty of Medicine, (copied into this email), provides her professional opinion that this combination of ingredients in vaccines in infants is safe and health promoting.

Your policy, that is not supported by the global scientific community, is being implemented in genetically diverse populations and this could be considered by many as a crime against humanity, if there is no legitimate public health purpose for its implementation.

Silence or no response is an admission that this policy is invalid and you and those who are supporting this policy will be liable for any ill health or death that arises from this policy in the population. Here is the 20 min video of the No Jab No Pay protest speech that I gave outside Parliament House in Perth in 2015. This speech explains why this policy breaches the Nuremberg Code. The protest rallies held in Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – in 2015 were not reported in the Australian media. These protest rallies were attended by thousands of people around Australia but the public’s voice in this debate has been ignored.

I await your response to the directives I have outlined above and I will take silence or no response as an admission that there is no valid reason for this social services No Jab No Pay policy and those that are supporting it will be liable for any harm that is caused in the Australian population.

Judy Wilyman PhD

And this is the same anti-vaccination activist who demands that members of the public cease sending emails to her:

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Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, Brian Martin, hypocrisy, Judy Wilyman, meryl dorey, mobbing, public health, Public mobbing, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, University of Wollongong, vaccination, Vitamin K | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Australian chiropractic business shows anti-vaccination film, Vaxxed.

The anti-vaccination film, Vaxxed, has been doing the rounds at secret events on Australia’s east coast. The film was canned by a Brisbane council after it was revealed that a council venue had been hired – deceptively, of course – by the anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network.

Fast-forward a fortnight and it was Melbourne’s turn to host the fantasy-film. Secret events were again advertised, with purchasers only finding out the location of the venue for their screening via text message, only hours before the event. This brings us to today’s secret screening.

At 1735 hours, today, a video was posted to the Vaxxed Australia/New Zealand Facebook group. The video was deleted after a couple of hours. Then, shortly after that, the post was deleted:

Thanks, again, to some keen-eyed friends we have managed to grab some stills from the video before it was deleted. That is the host, Tasha David (president of the AVN):

And:

And thanks to the very helpful Brett Smith, Olivier Vles, Trent Wiseman, and Luke O’Hehir we also have more, public, photographic evidence of the venue in which the anti-vaccination film screening was held:

Later, a Facebook live video was also broadcast from the chiropractic business, featuring a Q and A session fronted by the cream of Australian anti-vaccinationism. From left to right – Tasha David (AVN president), Brett Smith (AVN spokesperson and member), and Wendy Lydall (veteran antivaxer who laughed about children dying from chicken pox):

Another of  our keen-eyed friends noticed the zebra mural in the stills, obviously taken in a chiropractor’s business. We have seen that before…

This is a still from the 2013 ABC Catalyst episode on chiropractic; and that is anti-vaccination chiropractor, and regular star of this blog, Simon Floreani:

It comes as no surprise that the Floreanis – both of whom are regulars on this blog, and both of whom are/were professional members of the anti-vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network – allowed their chiropractic business to be used to screen an anti-vaccination film; Jennifer Barham-Floreani bluntly declared her disdain for the Chiropractic Board of Australia, on August 9 2013, in response to the CBA’s public statement against chiropractic anti-vaccinationism:

But high-profile chiropractors say they will continue providing information about both sides of the vaccination argument.

Chiropractor and author Jennifer Barham-Floreani says it will not stop her colleagues from giving patients advice.

“Chiropractors will certainly be working towards making sure that the information that they convey to parents is the latest, up-to-date information that presents both sides of the vaccination debate,” she said.

The CBA has issued many more ultimatums to chiropractors since 2013; the Floreanis are steadfastly recalcitrant in their disdain for the Board (see the video update at the end of this post for a perfect demonstration of  this unprofessional disdain for regulators). And somehow they are still registered, to this day.

For an excellent run-down of the first Vaxxed screening, in Brisbane, see this post from Diluted Thinking: AVSN: Vaxxed The Movie – Australian Premiere.

It pleases me to some extent that the Vaxxed team was forced to rely on a disgraced organisation that carries a current public health warning, that its Australian release was funded by a scam, and a featured guest is a demonstrable activist thug [Brett Smith].
A threat to public health and safety, a scam, a thug and conspiracies aplenty. What could be more fitting for a movie such as Vaxxed.

And speaking of demonstrable activist thugs, these images were posted by Brett Smith and Olivier Vles, from that premiere screening, which was held in a church venue:

And:

Whilst these images were published from the more recent screening which was held at the Maroochy RSL, on the Sunshine Coast:

Left to right – Allona Lahn, Andrew Somes, Olivier Vles, and Tasha David (AVN president):

Left to right – Andrew Somes, Allona Lahn, and Olivier Vles:

Complaints about the venue owners, Simon Floreani and Jennifer Barham-Floreani, and their chiropractic business (including all of the chiropractors who practise there), can be submitted to the Chiropractic Board of Australia, here; you can ask them about the Floreanis’ continuing professional registration.

Update

The full, hour-long video has been re-uploaded to the Vaxxed Australia/New Zealand page:

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Update December 11 2016

If the Chiropractic Board of Australia doesn’t think it has enough evidence to deregister the Floreanis, then, this November 3 2016 interview – between deranged US antivax chiro, Billy DeMoss, and Simon Floreani – should hold the Board over a flame. If AHPRA and the CBA do not act against the Floreanis, based on this interview alone, then, the whole thing needs to be shut down:

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

Anti-vaccine nurses and midwives 40

On October 11 2016, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia responded to a number of complaints regarding anti-vaccination material and advice being disseminated by registered nurses, enrolled nurses, and registered midwives, by publishing a new position statement on anti-vaccination misinformation:

NMBA position on nurses, midwives and vaccination

The NMBA has become aware that there are a small number of registered nurses, enrolled nurses and midwives who are promoting anti-vaccination statements to patients and the public via social media which contradict the best available scientific evidence. The NMBA is taking this opportunity to make its expectations about providing advice on vaccinations clear to registered nurses, enrolled nurses and midwives.

The NMBA recognises the Australian National Immunisation Handbook 10th edition as providing evidence-based advice to health professionals about the safe and effective use of vaccines and the public health benefits associated with vaccination. The NMBA supports the use of the handbook by registered nurses, enrolled nurses and midwives who are giving vaccines. The handbook is available from the Immunise Australia Program website.

The NMBA expects all registered nurses, enrolled nurses and midwives to use the best available evidence in making practice decisions. This includes providing information to the public about public health issues.

All registered nurses, enrolled nurses and midwives are required to practise in accordance with professional standards set by the NMBA, including the codes of conduct, codes of ethics and the standards for practice, in particular the social media policy and the guidelines for advertising regulated health services.

What should I do if I notice a nurse or midwife is promoting anti-vaccination material?

If you have concerns about a nurse or midwife you can make a complaint to AHPRA. The NMBA will consider whether the nurse or midwife has breached their professional obligations and will treat these matters seriously. Any published anti-vaccination material and/or advice which is false, misleading or deceptive which is being distributed by a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife (including via social media) may also constitute a summary offence under the National Law and could result in prosecution by AHPRA.

Kate Cadd is a registered nurse and registered midwife in Western Australia:

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On May 5 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration on her Facebook profile:

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Cadd is a member of the public, anti-vaccination, Vaxxed Australia/New Zealand Facebook group:

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Cadd is a member of the rabid anti-vaccination Facebook group, Vaccine Choice Australia:

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On November 11 2016, in the Vaxxed Australia/New Zealand Facebook group, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in arguing that the whooping cough vaccine booster causes birth complications, and argued that the parents of deceased baby, Riley Hughes, will be responsible for more harmful birth complications due to their advocacy for  the pregnancy booster:

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On August 31 2015, in the anti-vaccination Vaccine Choice Australia Facebook group, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in promoting homeopathic immunisation:

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On July 12 2015, in Vaccine Choice Australia, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in arguing against workplace and adult immunisations:

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On June 30 2015, in Vaccine Choice Australia, Cadd used her midwifery registration to argue against the provision of Vitamin K for a newborn baby:

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Vaxxed Australia/New Zealand public group posts

On November 10 2016, Cadd advised another group member to seek homeopathic detoxification for vaccination recovery:

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On October 19 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members who argued that immunisation is a cause of SIDS:

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On June 21 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members who claimed that vaccines are destroying a generation of children:

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Vaccine Choice Australia (formerly Vaccine Free Australia) posts

On November 11 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in providing advice to another group member:

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On November 9 2016, Cadd argued that premature births are caused by vaccines:

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On October 21 2016, Cadd admitted that her own doctor has been unable to convince her to immunise her children:

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On October 18 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members who argued that the recent murder of two autistic children is ultimately the fault of vaccines:

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On October 4 and 5 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in providing medical advice to another group member:

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On September 13 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in downplaying the serious risks posed by whooping cough infection, and implied that her children are somehow more robust for being unvaccinated against the disease:

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On August 28 2016, Cadd applauded the anti-vaccinationism of a US celebrity doctor who featured in the anti-vaccination movie, Vaxxed:

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On August 21 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members who mocked yet another finding that vaccines do not cause autism:

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On August 4 2016, Cadd provided medical advice to another group member:

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On July 6 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members who attacked television presenters over an immunisation story, calling the story “sheep journalism”:

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On July 6 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration and joined in with other group members in attacking the Light for Riley Facebook page, and argued that immunisation causes stillbirths. Cadd also demonstrates that she does not understand the medical literature on this subject:

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On June 18 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members, such as Rixta Francis, in arguing that vaccines cause autism, and that this conspiracy is being covered up:

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On June 8 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in advocating against the provision of the Hepatitis B vaccine, and Vitamin K, for a newborn baby:

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On June 8 2016, Cadd joined in with other members, including group admin, Courtney Hebberman, in championing an anti-vaccination-friendly doctor:

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On April 25 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in a thread which downplays the seriousness of the unprofessionalism of baby-cracking chiropractor, Ian Rossborough:

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On April  19 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in advising another member to ‘definitely’ use chiropractic and acupuncture for an upcoming breach birth:

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On April 15 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members in denigrating immunisation, in response to an unsubstantiated story of mass vaccine injury:

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On March 27 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in providing advice to another member who was looking to decline a pregnancy glucose test:

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On March 22 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members who were attacking the Light for Riley Facebook page; and Cadd provided misinformation about the safety of the third trimester whooping cough vaccine boosters:

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On February 18 2016, Cadd joined in with other group members in championing Tasha David – the president of the disreputable anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network – after one of David’s television appearances. Cadd also referred to a doctor who promotes immunisation as an, “ill informed sheep conferring Quack dr”:

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On February 17 2016, Cadd advised another member to seek acupressure and cloves for a friend who was due to have a medical appointment the following day, for a breech pregnancy:

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On February 16 2016, Cadd cited her midwifery registration and discussed patients who use the services of her workplace’s birthing unit, using unfavourable terms:

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On November 18 2015, Cadd joined in with other group members who were distressed over the stories of anti-vaccination activist, Jenny McCarthy, who claims that her son’s autism was caused by vaccines:

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On November 18 2015, Cadd joined in with other group members in vilifying the mother of deceased baby boy, Riley Hughes – Catherine Hughes – and provided misinformation about the third trimester whooping cough booster. One of those who joined in with the trolling and vilification of Catherine Hughes was Helena Denley, a person who was responsible for the death of her own toddler, Isabella, due to the withholding of necessary medical care:

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On September 16 and 17 2015, Cadd lamented the anti-vaccination movement’s attacks on the family of Riley Hughes. Group members on her post then left comments attacking the family of Riley Hughes, and journalist Cathy O’Leary, with one member posting an image which misuses Riley’s image, against the wishes of Riley’s parents:

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On September 14 2015, Cadd joined in with other group members, including the public officer of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, Meryl Dorey, in providing non-evidence-based, crank cancer cure medical advice to a group member:

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On August 24 2015, Cadd joined in with other group members in attacking the maternal whooping cough immunisation booster as dangerous for babies:

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On August 5 2015, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in providing paediatric advice to another group member:

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On August 3 2015, Cadd sought non-evidence-based medical advice from the other anti-vaccination group members:

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On August 1 2015, Cadd joined in with other group members in vilifying evidence-based immunisation advocates, via an anti-vaccination meme:

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On July 29 2015, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in downplaying the seriousness of unprofessional chiropractors who sneak into hospitals to adjust neonates:

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On July 28 2015, Cadd argued that there is a conspiracy to sweep adverse reactions to  vaccines, “under the carpet”:

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On July 19 2015, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in arguing against workplace immunisation requirements:

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On July 18 2015, Cadd cited her midwifery registration in providing advice to another group member:

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On July 13 2016, Cadd joined other group members in attacking the World Health Organisation, arguing that the organisation is corrupt, based on an article by anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist, Sherri Tenpenny:

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On July 12 2015, Cadd joined in with other group members, including group admin, Courtney Hebberman, and dog breeder, Anita Bugges, in arguing that stillbirths are caused by the whooping cough and influenza vaccines:

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On April 20 2015, Cadd argued that pregnant women should not be provided with influenza immunisation, adding:

No no no…I just can’t understand the logic of Drs to inject a women and her DEVELOPING BABY with a flu needle which is riddled with neurotoxins…

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On April 6 2015, Cadd cited her midwifery registration:

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On April 6 2015, Cadd claimed that anti-vaccination activists are “educated and informed” and stated that “homeoprophylaxis needs to be made a choice” as an alternative method of retaining immunisation-related child care benefit payments:

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The following addenda contain excerpts from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s competency standards, codes, guidelines, and social media policy from which readers may wish to choose when lodging any complaint regarding the activities of Kate Cadd.

Thanks for reading.

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Addendum 1

National competency standards for the midwife (PDF)

Legal and professional practice

Competency 1

Functions in accordance with legislation and common law affecting midwifery practice

Element 1.1

Demonstrates and acts upon knowledge of legislation and common law pertinent to midwifery practice.

Element 1.2

Complies with policies and guidelines that have legal and professional implications for practice.

Element 1.3

Formulates documentation according to legal and professional guidelines.

Element 1.4

Fulfils the duty of care in the course of midwifery practice.

Competency 2

Accepts accountability and responsibility for own actions within midwifery practice.

Element 2.1

Recognises and acts within own knowledge base and scope of practice.

Element 2.2

Identifies unsafe practice and takes appropriate action.

Element 2.3

Consults with, and refers to, another midwife or appropriate health care provider when the needs of the woman and her baby fall outside own scope of practice or competence.

Element 2.4

Delegates, when necessary, activities matching abilities and scope of practice and provides appropriate supervision.

Element 2.5

Assumes responsibility for professional midwifery leadership functions.

Midwifery knowledge and practice

Competency 3

Communicates information to facilitate decision making by the woman.

Element 3.1

Communicates effectively with the woman, her family and friends.

Element 3.2

Provides learning opportunities appropriate to the woman’s needs.

Element 3.3

Plans and evaluates care in partnership with the woman.

Competency 4

Promotes safe and effective midwifery care.

Element 4.1

Applies knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable woman centred care.

Element 4.2

Provides or supports midwifery continuity of care.

Element 4.3

Manages the midwifery care of women and their babies.

Competency 5

Assesses, plans, provides and evaluates safe and effective midwifery care.

Element 5.1

Uses midwifery knowledge and skills to facilitate an optimal experience for the woman.

Element 5.2

Assesses the health and well being of the woman and her baby.

Element 5.3

Plans, provides, and is responsible for, safe and effective midwifery care.

Element 5.4

Protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding.

Element 5.5

Demonstrates the ability to initiate, supply and administer relevant pharmacological substances in a safe and effective manner within relevant state or territory legislation.

Element 5.6

Evaluates the midwifery care provided to the woman and her baby.

Competency 6

Assesses, plans, provides and evaluates safe and effective midwifery care for the woman and/or baby with complex needs.

Element 6.1

Uses a range of midwifery knowledge and skills to provide midwifery care for the woman and/or her baby with complex needs as part of a collaborative team.

Element 6.2

Recognises and responds effectively in emergencies or urgent situations.

Midwifery as primary health care

Competency 7

Advocates to protect the rights of women, families and communities in relation to maternity care.

Element 7.1

Respects and supports women and their families to be self determining in promoting their own health and well–being.

Element 7.2

Acts to ensure that the rights of women receiving maternity care are respected.

Competency 8

Develops effective strategies to implement and support collaborative midwifery practice.

Element 8.1

Demonstrates effective communication with midwives, health care providers and other professionals.

Element 8.2

Establishes, maintains and evaluates professional relationships with other health care providers.

Competency 9

Actively supports midwifery as a public health strategy.

Element 9.1

Advocates for, and promotes midwifery practice, within the context of public health policy.

Element 9.2

Collaborates with, and refers women to, appropriate community agencies and support networks.

Competency 10

Ensures midwifery practice is culturally safe.

Element 10.1

Plans, implements and evaluates strategies for providing culturally safe practice for women, their families and colleagues.

Competency 11

Bases midwifery practice on ethical decision making.

Element 11.1

Practises in accordance with the endorsed Code of Ethics and relevant state/ territories and commonwealth privacy obligations under law.

Competency 12

Identifies personal beliefs and develops these in ways that enhance midwifery practice.

Element 12.1

Addresses the impact of personal beliefs and experiences on the provision of midwifery care.

Element 12.2

Appraises and addresses the impact of power relations on midwifery practice.

Competency 13

Acts to enhance the professional development of self and others.

Element 13.1

Assesses and acts upon own professional development needs.

Element 13.2

Contributes to, and evaluates, the learning experiences and professional development of others.

Competency 14

Uses research to inform midwifery practice.

Element 14.1

Ensures research evidence is incorporated into practice.

Element 14.2

Interprets evidence as a basis to inform practice and decision making.

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Addendum 2

National competency standards for the registered nurse (PDF)

Professional practice

Relates to the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities which require demonstration of a satisfactory knowledge base, accountability for practice, functioning in accordance with legislation affecting nursing and health care, and the protection of individual and group rights.

1 Practises in accordance with legislation affecting nursing practice and health care

1.1 Complies with relevant legislation and common law

1.2 Fulfils the duty of care

1.3 Recognises and responds appropriately to unsafe or unprofessional practice

2 Practises within a professional and ethical nursing framework

2.1 Practises in accordance with the nursing profession’s codes of ethics and conduct

2.2 Integrates organisational policies and guidelines with professional standards

2.3 Practises in a way that acknowledges the dignity, culture, values, beliefs and rights of individuals/groups

2.4 Advocates for individuals/groups and their rights for nursing and health care within organisational and management structures

2.5 Understands and practises within own scope of practice

2.6 Integrates nursing and health care knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide safe and effective nursing care

2.7 Recognises the differences in accountability and responsibility between registered nurses, enrolled nurses and unlicensed care workers

Critical thinking and analysis

Relates to self-appraisal, professional development and the value of evidence and research for practice. Reflecting on practice, feelings and beliefs and the consequences of these for individuals/ groups is an important professional bench- mark.

3 Practises within an evidence-based framework

3.1 Identifies the relevance of research to improving individual/group health outcomes

3.2 Uses best available evidence, nursing expertise and respect for the values and beliefs of individuals/groups in the provision of nursing care

3.3 Demonstrates analytical skills in accessing and evaluating health information and research evidence

3.4 Supports and contributes to nursing and health care research

3.5 Participates in quality improvement activities

4 Participates in ongoing professional development of self and others

4.1 Uses best available evidence, standards and guidelines to evaluate nursing performance:

4.2 Participates in professional development to enhance nursing practice

4.3 Contributes to the professional development of others

4.4 Uses appropriate strategies to manage own responses to the professional work environment

Provision and coordination of care

Relates to the coordination, organisation and provision of nursing care that includes the assessment of individuals/ groups, planning, implementation and evaluation of care.

5 Conducts a comprehensive and systematic nursing assessment

5.1 Uses a relevant evidence-based assessment framework to collect data about the physical socio-cultural and mental health of the individual/group

5.2 Uses a range of assessment techniques to collect relevant and accurate data

5.3 Analyses and interprets assessment data accurately

6 Plans nursing care in consultation with individuals/groups, significant others and the interdisciplinary health care team

6.1 Determines agreed priorities for resolving health needs of individuals/groups:

6.2 Identifies expected and agreed individual/group health outcomes including a time frame for achievement

6.3 Documents a plan of care to achieve expected outcomes

6.4 Plans for continuity of care to achieve expected outcomes

7 Provides comprehensive, safe and effective evidence-based nursing care to achieve identified individual/group health outcomes

7.1 Effectively manages the nursing care of individuals/groups

7.2 Provides nursing care according to the documented care or treatment plan

7.3 Prioritises workload based on the individual/group’s needs, acuity and optimal time for intervention

7.4 Responds effectively to unexpected or rapidly changing situations

7.5 Delegates aspects of care to others according to their competence and scope of practice

7.6 Provides effective and timely direction and supervision to ensure that delegated care is provided safely and accurately

7.7 Educates individuals/groups to promote independence and control over their health

8 Evaluates progress towards expected individual/group health outcomes in consultation with individuals/groups, significant others and interdisciplinary health care team

8.1 Determines progress of individuals/groups toward planned outcomes

8.2 Revises the plan of care and determines further outcomes in accordance with evaluation data

Collaborative and therapeutic practice

Relates to establishing, sustaining and concluding professional relationships with individuals/groups. This also contains those competencies that relate to nurses understanding their contribution to the interdisciplinary health care team.

9 Establishes, maintains and appropriately concludes therapeutic relationships

9.1 Establishes therapeutic relationships that are goal directed and recognises professional boundaries

9.2 Communicates effectively with individuals/groups to facilitate provision of care

9.3 Uses appropriate strategies to promote an individual’s/group’s self-esteem, dignity, integrity and

9.4 Assists and supports individuals/groups to make informed health care decisions

9.5 Facilitates a physical, psychosocial, cultural and spiritual environment that promotes individual/group safety and security

10 Collaborates with the interdisciplinary health care team to provide comprehensive nursing care

10.1 Recognises that the membership and roles of health care teams and service providers will vary depending on an individual’s/group’s needs and health care setting

10.2 Communicates nursing assessments and decisions to the interdisciplinary health care team and other relevant service providers

10.3 Facilitates coordination of care to achieve agreed health outcomes

10.4 Collaborates with the health care team to inform policy and guideline development

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Addendum 3

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Codes and Guidelines.

Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia

1 Nurses practise in a safe and competent manner.

2 Nurses practise in accordance with the standards of the profession and broader health system.

Conduct Statement 2

Nurses practise in accordance with the standards of the profession and broader health system

Explanation

1 Nurses are responsible for ensuring the standard of their practice conforms to professional standards developed and agreed by the profession, with the object of enhancing the safety of people in their care as well as their partners, family members and other members of the person’s nominated network. This responsibility also applies to the nurses’ colleagues.

2 Nurses practise in accordance with wider standards relating to safety and quality in health care and accountability for a safe health system, such as those relating to health documentation and information management, incident reporting and participation in adverse event analysis and formal open disclosure procedures.

3 Nurses practise and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of nursing.

Conduct Statement 3

Nurses practise and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of nursing

Explanation

1 Nurses are familiar with relevant laws and ensure they do not engage in clinical or other practices prohibited by such laws or delegate to others activities prohibited by those laws.

2 Nurses witnessing the unlawful conduct of colleagues and other co-workers, whether in clinical, management, education or research areas of practice, have both a responsibility and an obligation to report such conduct to an appropriate authority and take other appropriate action as necessary to safeguard people and the public interest.

4 Nurses respect the dignity, culture, ethnicity, values and beliefs of people receiving care and treatment, and of their colleagues.

5 Nurses treat personal information obtained in a professional capacity as private and confidential.

6 Nurses provide impartial, honest and accurate information in relation to nursing care and health care products.

Conduct Statement 6

Nurses provide impartial, honest and accurate information in relation to nursing care and health care products

Explanation

1 When nurses provide advice about any care or product, they fully explain the advantages and disadvantages of alternative care or products so individuals can make informed choices. Nurses refrain from engaging in exploitation, misinformation or misrepresentation with regard to health care products and nursing care.

2 Nurses accurately represent the nature of their services or the care they intend to provide.

3 Where a specific care or a specific product is advised, nurses ensure their advice is based on adequate knowledge and not on commercial or other forms of gain. Deceptive endorsement of products or services or receipt of remuneration for products or services primarily for personal gain, other than remuneration in the course of a proper commercial relationship, is improper.

7 Nurses support the health, wellbeing and informed decision-making of people requiring or receiving care.

8 Nurses promote and preserve the trust and privilege inherent in the relationship between nurses and people receiving care.

Conduct Statement 8

Nurses promote and preserve the trust and privilege inherent in the relationship between nurses and people receiving care

Explanation

1 An inherent power imbalance exists within the relationship between people receiving care and nurses that may make the persons in their care vulnerable and open to exploitation. Nurses actively preserve the dignity of people through practised kindness and respect for the vulnerability and powerlessness of people in their care. Significant vulnerability and powerlessness can arise from the experience of illness and the need to engage with the health care system. The power relativities between a person and a nurse can be significant, particularly where the person has limited knowledge; experiences pain and illness; needs assistance with personal care; belongs to a marginalised group; or experiences an unfamiliar loss of self-determination. This vulnerability creates a power differential in the relationship between nurses and persons in their care that must be recognised and managed.

4 Nurses fulfil roles outside the professional role, including those as family members, friends and community members. Nurses are aware that dual relationships may compromise care outcomes and always conduct professional relationships with the primary intent of benefit for the person receiving care. Nurses take care when giving professional advice to people with whom they have a dual relationship (e.g. a family member or friend) and advise them to seek independent advice due to the existence of actual or potential conflicts of interest.

9 Nurses maintain and build on the community’s trust and confidence in the nursing profession.

Conduct Statement 9

Nurses maintain and build on the community’s trust and confidence in the nursing profession

Explanation

1 The conduct of nurses maintains and builds public trust and confidence in the profession at all times.

2 The unlawful and unethical actions of nurses in their personal lives risk adversely affecting both their own and the profession’s good reputation and standing in the eyes of the public. If the good standing of either individual nurses or the profession were to diminish, this might jeopardise the inherent trust between the nursing profession and the public necessary for effective therapeutic relationships and the effective delivery of nursing care.

3 Nurses consider the ethical interests of the nursing profession and the community when exercising their right to freedom of speech and participating in public, political and academic debate, including publication.

10 Nurses practise nursing reflectively and ethically.

Conduct Statement 10

Nurses practise nursing reflectively and ethically

Explanation

1 Nurses practise nursing reflectively and ethically, in accordance with the Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia, in order to learn from experience and contribute to personal and professional practice.

2 Nurses develop and maintain appropriate and current quality nursing advice, support and care for each person requiring and receiving care and their partners, families and other members of their nominated social network. This responsibility also applies to colleagues of nurses.

3 Nurses evaluate their conduct and competency according to the standards of the nursing profession.

4 Nurses contribute to the professional development of students and colleagues.

5 Nurses participating in research do so in accordance with recognised research guidelines and do not violate their duty of care to persons receiving nursing care.

6 Nurses advise employers and any persons in their care of any reduction in their capacity to practise due to health, social or other factors, while they seek ways of redressing the problem.

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Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia

1 Nurses value quality nursing care for all people.

2 Nurses value respect and kindness for self and others.

3 Nurses value the diversity of people.

4 Nurses value access to quality nursing and health care for all people.

5 Nurses value informed decision-making.

Value Statement 5

Nurses value informed decision-making

Explanation

Nurses value people’s interests in making free and informed decisions. This includes people having the opportunity to verify the meaning and implication of information being given to them when making decisions about their nursing and health care. Nurses also recognise that making decisions is sometimes constrained by circumstances beyond individual control and that there may be circumstances where informed decision making cannot always be fully realised.

6 Nurses value a culture of safety in nursing and health care.

Value Statement 6

Nurses value a culture of safety in nursing and health care

Explanation

Valuing a culture of safety involves nurses actively engaging in the development of shared knowledge and understanding of the crucial importance of safety in contemporary health care. Nurses who value a culture of safety appreciate that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Nurses support the development of risk management processes and a practice environment designed to reduce the incidence and impact of preventable adverse events in health care. Nurses also support the open disclosure of any adverse events to any person affected during the course of their care.

7 Nurses value ethical management of information.

8 Nurses value a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable environment promoting health and wellbeing.

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Addendum 4

Code of professional conduct for midwives

Midwives practise competently in accordance with legislation, standards and professional practice

1 Midwives practise in a safe and competent manner.

Conduct statement 1

Midwives practise in a safe and competent manner

Explanation

1 Midwives are personally accountable to the woman and her infant(s); their employer and their profession for the provision of safe and competent midwifery care. It is the responsibility of each midwife to maintain the competence necessary for current practice. Maintenance of competence includes participation in ongoing professional development to maintain and improve knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to practice in a clinical, management, education or research setting.

2 Midwives practise in a manner that recognises the woman’s right to receive accurate information; be protected against foreseeable risk of harm to themselves and their infant(s); and have freedom to make choices in relation to their care.

3 Midwives practise within the scope of midwifery, according to the International Confederation of Midwives Definition of the Midwife (2005).

6 Midwives make known to an appropriate person or authority any circumstance that may compromise professional standards, or any observation of questionable, unethical or unlawful practice, and intervene to safeguard the individual if the concern is unresolved.

2 Midwives practise in accordance with the standards of the profession and broader health system.

Conduct statement 2

Midwives practise in accordance with the standards of the profession and broader health system

Explanation

1 Midwives practise in partnership with the woman, and in accordance with the standards of the profession (e.g. the Board-approved National competency standards for the midwife), to provide safe and effective midwifery care.

2 Midwives practise in accordance with wider standards relating to safety and quality in midwifery care and accountability for a safe health system, such as those relating to health documentation and information management, incident reporting and participation in adverse event analysis and formal open disclosure procedures.

3 Midwives practise and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of midwifery.

Conduct statement 3

Midwives practise and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of midwifery

Explanation

1 Midwives are familiar with relevant laws and ensure they do not engage in practices prohibited by such laws or delegate to others activities prohibited by those laws.

2 Midwives practise in accordance with laws relevant to the midwife’s area of practice.

3 Midwives witnessing the unlawful conduct of colleagues and other co-workers, whether in midwifery practice, management, education or research, have both a responsibility and an obligation to report such conduct to an appropriate authority and take other action as necessary to safeguard people and the public interest.

6 Midwives who are employees support the responsible use of the resources of their employing organisations.

4 Midwives respect the dignity, culture, values and beliefs of each woman and her infant(s) in their care and the woman’s partner and family, and of colleagues.

5 Midwives treat personal information obtained in a professional capacity as private and confidential.

Conduct statement 5

Midwives treat personal information obtained in a professional capacity as private and confidential

Explanation

The treatment of personal information should be considered in conjunction with the Guidelines to the National Privacy Principles 2001, which support the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwth). Many jurisdictions also have legislation and policies relating to privacy and confidentiality of personal health information including midwifery care records.

1 Midwives have ethical and legal obligations to treat personal information obtained in a professional capacity as confidential. Midwives protect the privacy of each woman, her infant(s) and family by treating the information gained in the relationship as confidential, restricting its use to professional purposes only.

6 Midwives provide impartial, honest and accurate information in relation to midwifery care and health care products.

Conduct statement 6

Midwives provide impartial, honest and accurate information in relation to midwifery care and health care products

Explanation

1 When midwives provide advice about any care or product, they fully explain the advantages and disadvantages of alternative products or care so individuals can make informed choices. Midwives refrain from engaging in exploitation, misinformation or misrepresentation with regard to health care products and midwifery care.

2 Midwives accurately represent the nature of the midwifery care they intend to provide.

3 Where specific care or a specific product is advised, midwives ensure their advice is based on adequate knowledge and not on commercial or other forms of gain. Midwives refrain from the deceptive endorsement of services or products.

Midwives practise within a woman-centred framework

7 Midwives focus on a woman’s health needs, her expectations and aspirations, supporting the informed decision making of each woman.

Conduct statement 7

Midwives focus on a woman’s health needs, her expectations and aspirations, supporting the informed decision making of each woman

Explanation

1 Midwives ensure the mother and her infant(s) are the primary focus of midwifery care.

2 Midwives support the health and wellbeing of each woman and her infant(s), promoting and preserving practices that contribute to the woman’s self-confidence and the wellbeing of the woman and her infant(s).

4 Midwives support informed decision making by advising the woman and, where the woman wishes, her partner, family, friends or health interpreter, of the nature and purpose of the midwifery care, and assist the woman to make informed decisions about that care.

6 Midwives advocate for the protection of the rights of each woman, her infant(s), partner, family and community in relation to midwifery care.

8 Midwives promote and preserve the trust and privilege inherent in the relationship between midwives and each woman and her infant(s).

Conduct statement 8

Midwives promote and preserve the trust and privilege inherent in the relationship between midwives and each women and her infant(s)

Explanation

1 Midwives promote and preserve the trust inherent in the woman-midwife partnership.

2 An inherent power imbalance exists within the relationship between each woman and midwives that may make the woman and her infant(s) in their care vulnerable and open to exploitation. Midwives actively preserve the dignity of people through practised kindness and by recognising the potential vulnerability and powerlessness of each woman being cared for by midwives. The power relativities between a woman and a midwife can be significant, particularly where the woman has limited knowledge, experiences fear or pain, needs assistance with personal care, or experiences an unfamiliar loss of self-determination. This vulnerability creates a power differential in the relationship between midwives and each woman in their care that must be recognised and managed.

9 Midwives maintain and build on the community’s trust and confidence in the midwifery profession.

Conduct statement 9

Midwives maintain and build on the community’s trust and confidence in the midwifery profession

Explanation

1 The conduct of midwives maintains and builds public trust and confidence in the profession at all times.

2 The unlawful and unethical actions of midwives in their personal lives risk adversely affecting both their own and the profession’s good reputation and standing in the eyes of the public. If the good standing of either individual midwives or the profession were to diminish, this might jeopardise the inherent trust between the midwifery profession and women, as well as the community more generally, necessary for effective relationships and the effective delivery of midwifery care.

3 Midwives consider the ethical interests of the midwifery profession when exercising their right to freedom of speech and participating in public, political and academic debate, including publication.

Midwives practise midwifery reflectively and ethically

10 Midwives practise midwifery reflectively and ethically.

Conduct statement 10                  

Midwives practise midwifery reflectively and ethically

Explanation

1 Midwives practise midwifery reflectively and ethically, practising in accordance with the Code of ethics for midwives in Australia, in order to learn from experience and contribute to personal

2 Midwives develop and maintain appropriate and current midwifery advice, support and care for each woman in their care and her infant(s) and family.

3 Midwives evaluate their conduct and competency according to the standards of the midwifery profession.

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Code of ethics for midwives

1 Midwives value quality midwifery care for each woman and her infant(s).

Value statement 1

Midwives value quality midwifery care for each woman and her infant(s)

Explanation

At the heart of valuing quality midwifery care is valuing each woman, the process of childbirth, the woman- midwife partnership, and the mother-baby relationship. This involves midwives assisting each woman during pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period, providing support, advice and care according to individual needs. The woman-midwife partnership focuses on the health and midwifery needs of the woman, her infant(s) and her partner and family. Midwives have a responsibility not to interfere with the normal process of pregnancy and childbirth unless it is necessary for the safety of the women and infant(s). Quality midwifery care also necessitates midwives being accountable for the standard of care they provide; helping to raise the standard; and taking action when they consider, on reasonable grounds, the standard to be unacceptable. This includes a responsibility to question and report unethical behaviour or treatment.

2 Midwives value respect and kindness for self and others.

3 Midwives value the diversity of people.

4 Midwives value access to quality midwifery care for each woman and her infant(s).

5 Midwives value informed decision making.

Value statement 5

Midwives value informed decision making

Explanation

Midwives value people’s interests in making free and informed decisions. This includes each woman having the opportunity to verify the meaning and implication of information being given to her when making decisions about her maternity care and childbirth experience. Midwives also recognise that making decisions is sometimes constrained by circumstances beyond individual control and that there may be circumstances where informed decision making cannot always be fully realised

6 Midwives value a culture of safety in midwifery care.

Value statement 6

Midwives value a culture of safety in midwifery care

Explanation

Valuing a culture of safety involves midwives actively engaging in the development of shared knowledge and understanding of the importance of safety – physical, emotional, social and spiritual – as a crucial component of contemporary midwifery care. Midwives who value a culture of safety support reasonable measures, processes and reporting systems designed to reduce the incidence and impact of preventable adverse events in the provision of midwifery care. They also support the open disclosure to women of any adverse events affecting them or their infants during the course of their care

7 Midwives value ethical management of information.

Value statement 7

Midwives value ethical management of information

Explanation

The generation and management of information (including midwifery care records and other documents) are performed with professionalism and integrity. This requires the information being recorded to be accurate, non-judgemental and relevant to the midwifery care of the woman and her infant(s). All midwifery documentation is a record that cannot be changed or altered other than by the addition of further information. A notation in a record or a document used for midwifery care communication can have a powerful positive or negative impact on the quality of care received by a woman and her infant(s). These effects can be long-lasting, either through ensuring the provision of quality care, or through enshrining stigma, stereotyping and judgement in maternity care decision making and maternity care provision experienced by a woman and her infant(s).

The ethical management of information involves respecting people’s privacy and confidentiality without compromising health or safety. This applies to all types of data, including clinical and research data, irrespective of the medium in which the information occurs or is stored. Personal information may only be shared with the consent of the individual or with lawful authorisation.

8 Midwives value a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable environment promoting health and wellbeing.

Value statement 8

Midwives value a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable environment, promoting health and wellbeing

Explanation

Midwives value strategies aimed at preventing, minimising and overcoming the harmful effects of economic, social or ecological factors on the health of each woman, her infant(s), family and community. Commitment to a healthy environment involves the conservation and efficient use of resources such as energy, water and fuel, as well as clinical and other materials.

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Addendum 5

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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