Serene Johnson (alternate Facebook profile) is a registered nurse from the Hunter region of New South Wales. Johnson frequently cites her nursing and other related qualifications in her anti-vaccination activism, including photographs taken in her workplaces:
Johnson has been active on antivax pages and in antivax groups since at least 2012.
On January 20 2012, Johnson posted to the page of the disreputable Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, citing her qualifications and then-employer, claiming that the HPV immunisation gave her cervical cancer (it can’t). Johnson also claimed that she submitted an adverse event report due to her erroneous belief:
On October 16 2012, Johnson publicly posted this (anti) vaccination assignment (click on the link to see the antivax citations and the comments underneath the post) to her Facebook profile:
I forgot about “at risk” groups, but hey. I only had 600wds. Tag whomever you wish.
by Serene Johnson on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 at 01:16 ·
Vaccination, Herd Immunity, Infection control in the hospital setting.
Australia’s vaccination program, like that of many other developed nations, is designed to prevent a major outbreak of communicable disease, and to protect vulnerable persons from falling ill through what is termed “herd immunity”. Herd Immunity is the principle of limiting disease spread through limiting potential carriers. To work effectively, it requires a certain population level to be vaccinated against a pathogen. In turn, those vulnerable to the infection such as very young infants, immunocompromised persons and otherwise unvaccinated people are protected from the pathogen as its spread through a population is limited by the vaccinated “herd”. However this theory has come under scrutiny of late with the rise of the anti-vaccination movement. It is argued that vaccines are neither tested for true efficacy, nor are they tested for safety (Rebello, Hom & Chatterjee, 2006; Lewis, 2012). Furthermore, they have been blamed for the rise in autism spectrum disorders, asthma (Odent, Culpin & Kimmel, 1994) and SIDS. “Herd Immunity” as an argument is a questionable reasoning (Buttram, 2012), given that varicella vaccination produces a 70-85% immunity rate, whereas naturally occurring variicella produces a 95% immunity rate, far greater than vaccination (Humpries, 2012; ). Vaccination on its current scale is of little more value to the common populace, than a cash-cow for Pfizer (Lambert, 2009). Certainly, those spearheading the antivaccination campaign are the educated, middle-class that has learned to think for themselves (Hudson, 2011; Cooke, 2011). Sadly, one major group that vaccines are said to “help”, is exactly those that should not have them: the immunocompromised, including those with autoimmune diseases such as Graves disease, Fibromyalgia and Diabetes type 1 (Mercola, no date).
[removed this bit because its not relevant to why I am posting this on here]
And because it is relevant: http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/unsafe-vaccines-corruption-fraud-in-medical-journal-publishing
On November 6 2012, Johnson posted to the page of the AVN, thanking Meryl Dorey and her organisation for their assistance in somehow getting 70% for that same anti-vaccination nursing assignment:
On April 11 2013, Johnson posted to the AVN Facebook page, offering to upload a NSW Health staff document intended for use by the antivax AVN:
On June 18 2013, Johnson was personally thanked by Meryl Dorey for sending an article to the antivax ideologue:
On July 6 2013, Johnson posted to the page of the AVN seeking support regarding her public anti-vaccination activism:
Johnson’s Facebook profile is also used for her antivax activism, whilst citing her qualifications and then-place of employment in her Facebook biography:.
From April 11 2013:
On July 22 2013, Johnson publicly stated that she was working at the Calvary Mater Hospital in Newcastle (Waratah), from where her workplace selfie (above, from October 10 2013) was probably taken:
On May 25 2013, Johnson posted this anti-vaccination article:
On May 25 2013, Johnson shared this anti-vaccination post from Sherri Tenpenny:
On August 25 2013, Johnson shared this antivax blog post from AVN committee member – and now president – Tasha David:
On October 14 2013, Johnson claimed that she was seeking to become an immunisation provider so she could sign conscientious objection forms for other anti-vaccination activists:
On October 15 2013, Johnson shared this dishonest anti-Gardasil meme, and added her own inaccurate claims surrounding her own self-diagnosis of vaccine injury:
On December 1 2015, Johnson shared this public anti-vaccination post on her profile:
On April 18 2016, Johnson posted this anti-vaccination argument to her public profile:
Only yesterday, September 2 2016, Johnson posted public anti-vaccination misinformation on her Facebook profile:
Johnson is very active in the Facebook group, Anti-Vaccination Australia, where she often derides her work and her colleagues. However, she certainly does not limit herself to anti-vaccination groups. See this document for an extensive collection of evidence which cannot be squeezed into this post.
On March 24 2015, on The Today Show Facebook page, arguing against the whooping cough immunisation – on a post pertaining to the whooping cough death of baby Riley Hughes – Johnson claimed that the immunisation would give her an “autoimmune flare”:
On September 27-29 2015, on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ Facebook page, Johnson argued for days against the whooping cough immunisation, citing her nursing and infection control qualifications. This is just a small selection:
On November 23 2015, Johnson argued against the No Jab No Pay legislation, on the 7 News Sydney Facebook page:
Anti-vaccination Australia group posts
On June 10 2016, Johnson conveyed a discussion about over-immunisation she had with a doctor at her workplace:
On June 4 2016, Johnson shared her workplace experiences of what she claims happens when the elderly are prescribed medications and, in response to a specific case, denigrated the decisions of treating physicians:
On June 2 2016, Johnson shared a workplace photo which is urging influenza immunisation:
On May 5 2016, Johnson claimed that her work colleagues were all sick with influenza after having the influenza immunisation:
On May 1 2016, upon hearing of the death of an 18 month old child Johnson checked with her antivax colleagues as to the vaccination schedule to see if vaccines somehow killed the child:
On April 28 2016, Johnson denigrated vaccination, at her workplace, and stated that the infection control officer is also not a fan of immunisation:
On April 19 2016, Johnson repeated her assertion that vaccines are not stringently tested and that post-immunisation adverse event surveillance reporting is not encouraged:
On April 6 2016, Johnson asserted that the case of the Gold Coast baby with whooping cough was a fake:
On April 5 2016, Johnson replied to another anti-vaccination nurse, Laurie Cairns-Cowan, with requested antivax citations which were to be used to promote anti-vaccinationism at a hospital workplace:
On March 25 2016, Johnson confirmed her intricate knowledge of chemtrails:
On March 23 2016, Johnson replied to another NSW Health employee who was seeking to avoid workplace influenza immunisation:
On March 19 2016, Johnson provided advice, as a registered nurse and infection control nurse, against the whooping cough booster:
On February 27 2016, Johnson derided immunisation paraphernalia and whooping cough warnings, posted in photos taken at her workplace:
On February 17 2016, Johnson sought the assistance of her anti-vaccination colleagues in arguing against polio immunisation:
On February 13 2016, Johnson asked her antivax colleagues for assistance in avoiding workplace immunisation:
On February 3 2016, Johnson grubbily links immunisation to microcephaly, in reply to the news that the Hughes family are due to have another baby:
On January 29 2016, Johnson makes anti-vaccination arguments using her nursing qualifications and position to bolster her arguments, linking back to antivax comments she made on her public profile, in which she discusses her patients to bolster her arguments:
On January 17 2016, Johnson infers that recent cases of microcephaly in Brazil are caused by vaccines. Johnson also asserts that polio has been renamed Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Australia, including in her patients, also asserting that polio infections in Australia are caused by the vaccine:
On January 7 2016, Johnson linked back to a public argument she was holding on her Facebook profile, posting her crude anti-vaccination comments, whilst citing her nursing registration and masters in infection control. Johnson also attacked medical professionals with whom she has worked:
The following are the comments from Johnson’s profile, as published by her in Anti-Vaccination Australia:
The following are the comments from underneath Johnson’s Anti-Vaccination Australia post:
On January 6 2016, Johnson argued against a parent’s provision of Vitamin K to her baby:
On January 3 2016, Johnson urged the members of Anti-Vaccination Australia to go to the George Takei Facebook page so as to “educate” the commenters:
On January 1 2016, Johnson cited her nursing employment and claimed that she had five years to work out how to get out of her next DTPa immunisation:
On December 29 2015, Johnson advocated for discredited anti-vaccine information on aluminium adjuvants and auto-immune disorders. Johnson also claimed that vaccines screw with the immune system :
On December 24 2015, Johnson cited her profession to denigrate immunisation:
On December 23 2015, Johnson posted in favour of children contracting chicken pox:
On December 10 2015, Johnson argued against varicella immunisation and laughed about her brother contracting chicken pox, as an adult, from Johnson’s child:
The following are the screenshots of comments as published by Johnson, above:
The following are the comments from underneath Johnson’s Anti-Vaccination Australia post:
On December 8 2015, Johnson published a post intended to denigrate one of her work colleagues, a gastroenterologist:
On December 2 2015, Johnson cited her nursing registration to bolster her anti-vaccination arguments, in response to a request for help from another antivax member:
On November 28 2015, Johnson asserted that vaccines are poison and linked back to a public post on her profile, in which she shared another anti-vaccination post:
On November 27 2015, Johnson argued against the recommended routine provision of Vitamin K at birth:
On November 26 2015, Johnson posted her immunisation compliance certificate from her former workplace, arguing that her current workplace can “go fuck themselves” if they request more workplace immunisations:
On November 16 2015, Johnson posted against the parvovirus vaccine for dogs:
On November 16 2015, Johnson failed to highlight the importance of whooping cough immunisation in reducing transmission of the disease:
On November 6 2015, Johnson denigrated the release of an improved influenza immunisation:
On November 6 2015, Johnson asserted that vaccines are used by Bill Gates as a means of “population control”:
On November 6 2015, Johnson argued that a high proportion of her health issues are in fact vaccine injuries, citing a discredited anti-vaccination source to bolster her claims:
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 anti-vaccination activism of Serene Johnson.
Thanks for reading.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
1 Self: Nurses make informed decisions in relation to their practice within the constraints of their professional role and in accordance with ethical and legal requirements. Nurses are entitled to do this without undue pressure or coercion of any kind. Nurses are responsible for ensuring their decision-making is based on contemporary, relevant and well-founded knowledge and information.
2 Person (health consumer): Nurses value the legal and moral right of people, including children, to participate whenever possible in decision-making concerning their nursing and health care and treatment, and assist them to determine their care on the basis of informed decision making. This may involve ensuring people who do not speak English have access to a qualified health interpreter. Nurses recognise and respect the rights of people to engage in shared decision-making when consenting to care and treatment. Nurses also value the contribution made by persons whose decision-making may be restricted because of incapacity, disability or other factors, including legal constraints. Nurses are knowledgeable about such circumstances and in facilitating the role of family members, partners, friends and others in contributing to decision-making processes.
3 Colleagues: Nurses respect the rights of colleagues and members of other disciplines to participate in informed decision-making. Making these collaborative and informed decisions includes involving the person requiring or receiving nursing care (or their representative) in decisions relating to their nursing or health care, without being subject to coercion of any kind.
4 Community: Nurses value the contribution made by the community to nursing and health care decision-making through a range of activities, including consumer groups, advocacy and membership of health-related committees. Nurses also assist in keeping the community accurately informed on nursing and health-related issues.
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
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.
1 Self: Nurses value safe practice and a safe working environment; practise within the limitations of their knowledge and skills; and recognise and avoid situations where their ability to deliver quality care may be impaired. Nurses have a moral and legal right to practise in a safe environment, without fear for their own safety or that of others, and they seek remedies through accepted channels, including legal action, when this is not the case. Nurses value the maintenance of competence in contributing to a safe care and practice environment.
2 Person (health consumer): Nurses recognise that people are vulnerable to injuries and illnesses as a result of preventable human error and adverse events while in health care settings. Nurses play a key role in the detection and prevention of errors and adverse events in health care settings, and support and participate in systems to identify circumstances where people are at risk of harm. Nurses act to prevent or control such risks through prevention, monitoring, early identification and early management of adverse events. Nurses contribute to the confidential reporting of adverse events and errors, and to organisational processes for the open disclosure of these events to persons affected during the course of their care.
3 Colleagues: Nurses work with their colleagues to create a culture of safety. Nurses support the development of safer health care systems through non-punitive human error, adverse event management and related education. Nurses value the critical relationship between consumer safety and interprofessional competencies, including trustful communication, teamwork and situation awareness. Nurses view the detection of their own errors and risks or those of their colleagues as opportunities for achieving a safer health care system.
4 Community: Nurses, acting through their professional and industrial organisations and other appropriate authorities, participate in developing and improving the safety and quality of health care services for all people. This includes actively promoting the provision of equitable, just and culturally and socially responsive health care services for all people living, or seeking residence or asylum, in Australia. It also involves raising public awareness about the nature and importance of consumer safety programs in health care services.
7 Nurses value ethical management of information.
8 Nurses value a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable environment promoting health and wellbeing.
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.