Anti-vaccine nurses and midwives 30

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.

Gabriella Page is a registered nurse in Queensland:

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Page is a member of the rabid anti-vaccination Facebook group, Vaccine Choice Australia (formerly Vaccine Free Australia):

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On November 19 2015, Page joined in with the ugly vilification of the parents of deceased baby, Riley Hughes, who have been the subject of over eighteen months of abuse from anti-vaccination activists. In the comment with which Page agreed, the Hughes family are accused of being responsible for the deaths of unborn babies:

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On August 14 2015, Page cited her nursing registration in response to a question about workplace immunisation:

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On September 18 2015, in response  to  a question from VCA admin Courtney Hebberman, Page cited her nursing registration in arguing against childhood immunisation, including the provision of Vitamin K. Page acknowledged that she gets questions about her anti-vaccination stance at her hospital. Page stated that nothing will change her views:

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On November 20 2015, Page cited her nursing registration in arguing against the evidence-based “status quo” of workplace immunisation policies for hospital workers:

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On November 19 2015, Page cited her nursing registration in denigrating “pushy doctors” who advise in favour of routine childhood immunisation. Page advocated being dishonest with these doctors:

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On July 23 2016, Page spoke highly of anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist, David Icke, and his recent Australian tour:

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On May 10 2016, Page cited her nursing registration, discussing workplace influenza immunisation with anti-vaccine nurse, Megan Cox:

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On April 18 2016, Page commented in favour of enlarging anti-vaccination group networks:

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On April 14 2016, Page commented in favour of  the anti-vaccination movie, Vaxxed, and Robert De Niro’s stance against immunisation:

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On March 12 2016, Page stated that news items regarding an increase in whooping cough notifications are “rubbish propaganda”:

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On February 25 2016, Page discussed her neighbour’s autistic child in a comment thread pertaining to vaccines and autism:

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On December 10 2015, Page posted a video of anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist Sharyl Attkisson, who claims that pharmaceutical propaganda is being disseminated by a cabal of paid trolls:

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On December 6 2015, Page assisted an anti-vaccination colleague in making flawed anti-vaccination arguments using vaccine product inserts:

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On November 27 2015, Page advised an anti-vaccination colleague to tell a vulnerable friend to watch anti-vaccination films Bought and The Greater Good:

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On November 25 2015, Page called an anti-vaccination colleague’s conspiracy-laden antivax rant a “beautiful truth”:

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On November 23 and 24 2015, Page advised another group member on how to avoid or treat whooping cough in a baby, including information from disreputable US anti-vaccination doctor, Suzanne Humphries, who advises Vitamin C as a whooping cough treatment:

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On November 14 2015, Page sought information from the rabid anti-vaccination group regarding Q Fever immunisation for her husband:

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On October 21 2015, responding to a concerning post in which Melbourne ED registered nurse, Sarah Jones-Rochford, breaches the confidentiality of her patient to make a case that influenza immunisations are responsible for unrelated health conditions, Page states that it “happens all the time”:

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On October 19 2015, Page advises an anti-vaccination colleague to have her father watch the antivax movies, The Greater Good and Bought:

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On October 8 2015, Page advised a group member on misusing vaccine product inserts to make an anti-vaccination argument against the MMR vaccine:

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On October 1 2015, Page misrepresented the risks of acquiring a vaccine preventable disease, if one was vaccinated versus unvaccinated:

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On September 24 2015, Page advised a nursing student to seek a  medical exemption so as to avoid workplace immunisations:

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On September 24 2015, Page made arguments against the provision of Vitamin K, to an expectant mother who was writing her birth plan:

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On September 24 2015, Page referred to the immunisation of babies as, injecting “that crap”:

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On September 20 2015, Page attended the anti-vaccination protest in Brisbane, alongside other activists such as Meryl Dorey, the spokesperson of the disreputable anti-vaccination organisation, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network:

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On September 20 2015, Page congratulated the creator of a document which states that vaccines are neither safe nor effective, as “awesome”:

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On September 14 2015, Page joined in with Meryl Dorey in advocating the misuse of cannabis oil as a cancer cure, for a female with stage 3 cancer with metastases:

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On September 5 2015, Page offered dubious medical treatment advice to the mother of an unseen child:

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On August 11 2015, Page contacted the VCA admins regarding adding members to the anti-vaccination group:

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On August 7 2015, Page joined a comment thread which included advice from anti-vaccination businessperson Stephanie Messenger, Anna Rodgers (who vilified the family of Riley Hughes and claimed that Riley never existed), and Tristan Wells (who likened Riley Hughes’  family to evil fascists and who advocates for the execution of doctors).  Page sought Wells’ advice on how to argue with evidence-based health advocates:

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On July 29 and 30 2015, Page stated that she desired to join with another anti-vaccination activists in the harassment of a local member of parliament:

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On July 27 2015, Page congratulated an anti-vaccination blog post from Conscious Life Mama as “awesome”:

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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 anti-vaccination activism of Gabriella Page.

Thanks for reading.

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Addendum 1

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 2

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.

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

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.

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.

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Addendum 3

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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Anti-vaccine nurses and midwives 29

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.

Megan Cox is an enrolled nurse in Victoria:

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Cox has been a member of the rabid anti-vaccination Facebook group, Vaccine Choice Australia (formerly Vaccine Free Australia), for some time:

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On July 12 2016, Cox stated that she works in Epping, which is also the location of The Northern Hospital:

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On May 2 and 3 2016, Cox posted a photo, taken at her place of employment, and proceeded to denigrate the hospital’s influenza immunisation campaign as “poisom”:

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On May 9 2016, Cox posted comments denigrating her workplace’s immunisation policies:

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On July 13 and 14 2015, Cox admitted that she was going to lie to her employer about her immunisation history. Cox was advised to lie by another Victorian nurse, Sarah Jones-Rochford [edit: Cox changed her Facebook screen-name to “Louise Megan” after the publication of this blog post]:

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On August 25 2015, Cox denigrated her workplace whooping cough immunisation policy for working with infected patients, and denigrated her work colleagues who did receive the whooping cough immunisation:

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cox-24-vca-august-26-2015-work-wc-vax-colleagues-no-sense

On September 25 2015, Cox cited her nursing employment in relation to workplace immunisations. Cox appears to have ticked off that she had received immunisations:

cox-17-vca-september-24-2015-nurses-op

cox-18-vca-september-25-2015-nurse-work-vax

On October 2 2016, Cox sought out information from the anti-vaccination group in an effort to dissuade her family members, who were expecting a new baby, from receiving whooping cough vaccines:

cox-26-vca-october-2-2016-wc-vax-1

cox-26-vca-october-2-2016-wc-vax-2

cox-26-vca-october-2-2016-wc-vax-3

cox-26-vca-october-2-2016-wc-vax-4-vit-k-hepb

On August 8 2016, Cox sought anti-vaccination articles to spread misinformation about whooping cough vaccine shedding, to her mother-in-law (it is impossible for the whooping cough vaccine to shed):

cox-27-vca-august-8-2016-wc-vax-pregnancy-mil

On June 14 2016, Cox sought information from the anti-vaccination group in an attempt  to dissuade her father from receiving an influenza immunisation:

cox-29-vca-june-14-2016-op-fluvax-antivax-info-for-father

cox-29-vca-june-14-16-2016-fluvax-antivax-info

On May 3 and 4 2016, Cox  sought misinformation from the anti-vaccination group regarding the MMRV vaccine’s ability to shed:

cox-30-vca-may-3-4-2016-mmrv-shed-misinfo

On January 3 2016, Cox shared an anti-vaccination article citing the discredited researcher, Tetyana Obukhanych:

cox-12-vca-january-3-2016-obukhanych

On December 15 2015, Cox and her anti-vaccination colleagues denigrated the childhood immunisation catch-up  program, whilst clearly having little knowledge of the program:

cox-31-vca-december-15-2015-catch-up-schedule-op

cox-31-vca-dec-15-2015-cont-1

cox-31-vca-dec-15-2015-cont-2

On November 30 3015, Cox agreed with her anti-vaccination colleague that vaccine product inserts should carry horrific warning pictures:

cox-13-vca-november-30-2015-childcare-op

cox-14-vca-november-30-2015-childcare

cox-15-vca-november-30-2015-childcare

On November 17 2015, Cox added her family members to the anti-vaccination group, to  further proselytise anti-vaccinationism among her family members:

cox-16-vca-november-17-2015-add-members

On September 23 2015, Cox cited her workplace proximity to doctors as a possible  “bonus” in her desire to obtain conscientious objection forms:

cox-19-vca-september-23-2015-co-work-with-drs-bonus-op

cox-20-vca-september-23-2015-co-bonus-work-with-drs

On September 10 2015, Cox noted her pride in her son’s anti-evidence-based medicine comments:

cox-21-vca-september-10-2015-brainwashed-kid-drs-poison-with-chemicals

On August 26 2015, Cox congratulated one of her anti-vaccination colleague’s obvious knowledge deficit regarding thiomersal in vaccines:

cox-22-vca-august-25-2015-congrat-colleague-mercury-flu-shot-lie

On December 13 2015, Cox acknowledged that she was very aware that the anti-vaccination group was not secret, nor private:

cox-33-vca-december-13-2015-trolls-in-group-1

cox-33-vca-december-13-2015-trolls-in-group-2

Again, this is Cox’s photo taken of her workplace and published in the anti-vaccination group, on May 2 2016:

cox-25-may-2-2016-hospital-photo

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 Megan Cox.

Thanks for reading.

_________________________________

Addendum 1

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

________________________________

Addendum 2

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.

_____________________________________

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.

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

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.

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.

________________________________________

Addendum 3

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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Anti-vaccine nurses and midwives 28

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.

Cassandra Frith is a registered nurse and registered midwife in Queensland:

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frith-2-ahpra-rn-rm-regos

On September 15 2016, the Light For Riley memorial and health advocacy Facebook page posted an announcement that the new Immunisation Foundation of Australia had been launched.

Baby Riley Hughes passed away from whooping cough, in March 2015. His parents are public health heroes, and Catherine Hughes is the 2016 WA Young Australian of the Year.

Riley’s Mum and Dad shared a photo of Riley’s little sister, Lucy, wearing her “superheroes vaccinate” onesie. Lucy was about to have her immunisations:

lucy

On September 15 2016, Cassandra Frith left a comment on that Light for Riley post, stating that childhood immunisations are “like playing Russian roulette”. Frith – citing her role as a “health professional” – continued on to claim that serious vaccine adverse events are not “often discussed or widely documented”:

frith-3-lfr-september-15-2016-vaccines-are-russian-roulette

Frith claims to have immunised her children, so she cannot strictly be labelled, “anti-vaccine”; however, she asserts well-worn anti-vaccination tropes in overstating the frequency of serious vaccine adverse events. And Frith cites her employment as a health professional to makes these 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 activities of Cassandra Frith.

Thanks for reading.

_____________________________________

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.

____________________________________

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.

_____________________________________

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.

____________________________________

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.

_________________________________________

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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Anti-vaccine nurses and midwives 27

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.

Pamela O’Connor is a registered nurse in New South Wales. O’Connor was recently featured and interviewed in Rose Brennan’s Daily Telegraph article on anti-vaccination nurses and midwives, regarding the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s recent position statement:

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On October 11 2015, O’Connor cited her nursing registration on her public Facebook profile:

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There are so many non-evidence-based posts that sub-headings are supplied for each category.

Anti-vaccination

On July 26 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation alleging a conspiracy to murder anti-vaccination healthcare workers:

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On July 26 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle, regarding the HPV vaccine:

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On July 5 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that vaccines cause autism:

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On July 3 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation about vaccination, citing Vladimir Putin:

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On June 27 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation about the HPV vaccine, citing Sherri Tenpenny’s conspiracy site, Truthkings:

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On June 14 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation alleging that vaccines cause autism, citing the anti-vaccination movie, Vaxxed:

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On May 16 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation alleging that vaccines cause autism:

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On May 11 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation about the mumps immunisation, from Mercola:

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On May 8 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation about the Gardasil immunisation:

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On April 5 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation regarding the immunisation schedule, citing the term, “Weapons of Mass Vaccination”:

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On April 4 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle alleging that vaccines cause autism:

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On March 15 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation surrounding vaccine exemption forms:

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On March 12 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that vaccines are not safe, nor effective, from the discredited anti-vaccination researcher, Tetyana Obukhanych:

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On March 12 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from anti-vaccination, anti-Semitic website, The Crazz Files:

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On March 12 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation attacking Victorian Health Minister, Jill Hennessy, from conspiracy website, Natural News:

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On March 12 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation falsely asserting that a vaccine product insert states that vaccines cause autism:

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On March 3 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Natural News asserting that the swine flu vaccine causes brain damage:

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On February 9 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle, surrounding the whooping cough immunisation; Dingle being incapable of spelling the name of the disease:

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On January 29 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle against the HPV immunisation:

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On January 27 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle surrounding the HPV vaccine:

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On January 20 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation alleging that the influenza immunisation is more dangerous than influenza:

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On January 17 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Vaccine Liberation Army, another conspiracy website:

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On January 11 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against the Gardasil immunisation:

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On January 4 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation surrounding US vaccine adverse events payments:

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On December 22 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from conspiracy website, Infowars:

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On December 17 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation about the Gardasil vaccine:

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On December 17 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle asserting that vaccines cause autism:

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On December 9 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation asserting that vaccines cause cancer:

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On October 28 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation about the influenza vaccine:

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On October 13 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from US anti-vaccination activist Ginger Taylor which falsely claims that a list of studies show that vaccines cause autism. None of the studies supports the link:

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On October 5 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that vaccines cause autism:

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On September 29 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from discredited anti-vaccination researchers in Canada, which falsely claims that vaccines contain toxic levels of aluminium:

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On September 23 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that vaccines cause autism:

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On September 22 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation in the form of a petition claiming a nefarious intent behind the adult immunisation register:

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On August 23 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation against the French immunisation schedule, which is demonstrably untrue:

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On July 12 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation in the form of the anti-vaccination conspiracy theory petition, as above:

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On May 7 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from Infowars, regarding the daughters of then-Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

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On April 20 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation in the form  of a petition surrounding immunisation and child care rebates:

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On April 15 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation regarding vaccine exemption forms:

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On March 16 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation against the routine immunisation of children:

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Anti-vaccination, zika conspiracies

On February 6 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle asserting that vaccines are the cause of  microcephaly in Brazil, and not zika:

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On February 2 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation asserting that vaccines are the cause of microcephaly, which includes a stolen photo of two sisters whose stories are exploited by anti-vaccination activists, against their  mother’s wishes:

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On January 31 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle, citing conspiracy theorist, John Rappoport, asserting that vaccines are the cause of microcephaly in Brazil:

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Zika conspiracies

On July 26 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation asserting that Monsanto is the cause of microcephaly in Brazil:

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On February 15 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation blaming Monsanto for microcephaly in Brazil:

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On February 9 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle claiming that drug companies are behind the zika “lie” in Brazil:

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On February 9 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation which asserts that the zika outbreak is a “hoax”:

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Non-evidence-based cancer cures

On June 19 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that cannabis oil can cure cancer:

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On June 19 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Sayer Ji, arguing against evidence-based cancer treatments:

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On June 18 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that cannabis oil is a treatment for cancer:

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On June 13 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against evidence-based cancer treatments:

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On June 4 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation which asserts that cannabis oil is a treatment for cancer:

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On May 27 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from entrepreneurial charlatan, David Wolfe, which argues against evidence-based cancer treatments:

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On March 13 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation which claims that cannabis oil is a cancer cure:

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On January 29 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from con-artist, David Wolfe, which claims that ginger is an effective cancer treatment, and argues against evidence-based treatments:

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On January 26 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation which claims that cannabis oil is a cure for childhood leukemia:

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On January 20 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that cannabis oil is a cancer cure:

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On January 20 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation which promoted the discredited cancer cures claims of disreputable doctor, Stanislaw Burzynski:

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On January 12 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation which claims that an alkaline diet is an effective cancer treatment:

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On December 31 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation which claims that a home-remedy is a cure for four types of cancer:

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On November 19 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation which asserts that coconut oil is a cancer cure:

pam-72-cancer

On October 26 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation which claims that ginger is a more effective cancer cure than evidence-based cancer treatments:

pam-75-cancer

On October 21 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation promoting the anti-vaccination, crank-cancer-cure documentary series, The Truth About Cancer:

pam-77-cancer

On October 5 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation promoting The Truth About Cancer:

pam-82-cancer

On September 25 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation which asserts that THC is an effective cancer treatment:

pam-87-cancer

On September 18 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation promoting the disreputable doctor, Stanislaw Burzynski:

pam-90-cancer

On August 25 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that cannabis cures cancer:

pam-91-cancer

On May 25 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that cannabis is an effective treatment for cancer:

pam-95-cancer

Big Pharma and Rothschild conspiracies

On March 13 2016, O’Connor shared anti-Semitic misinformation asserting a conspiracy of the ruling global elite:

pam-32-rothschilds

On October 23 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation against evidence-based healthcare, regarding iatrogenic deaths:

pam-76-big-pharma

On September 29 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle, claiming a vast conspiracy of harm caused by evidence-based healthcare, and making an incorrect claim about leading causes of death:

pam-86-big-pharma-psych-drugs-third-biggest-killer

Anti-fluoridation

On May 27 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against water fluoridation:

pam-20-fluoride

On February 18 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that water fluoridation is somehow neurotoxic:

pam-41-fluoride

On November 20 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from Natural News claiming that the fluoridation of water is “poison on tap”:

pam-71-fluoride

On November 11 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation asserting that water fluoridation is neurotoxic:

pam-73-fluoride

On September 28 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation which asserts several lies about water fluoridation:

pam-85-fluoride

On May 18 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from charlatan, David Wolfe, asserting a number of falsehoods about fluoride and other common ingredients:

pam-96-fluoride

On March 10 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that fluoride in water is a toxin:

pam-101-fluoride

Anti-statins

On July 16 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against statins, and warning members of the public to cease taking their prescribed statin medication:

pam-7-statins

On June 30 3016, O’Connor shared misinformation against statins:

pam-10-statins

On June 3 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against statins:

pam-18-statins

On May 30 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against statins, asserting that pomegranate is a better treatment:

pam-19-statins

On May 2 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against statins, which she called “scary”:

pam-26-statins

On February 10 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle, against statins, which asserts that they are a “medical lie”:

pam-43-statins

On May 10 2016, O’Connor shared separate misinformation from Peter Dingle, against statins, which asserts that they are a “medical lie”:

pam-45-statins

On October 14 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from Peter Dingle, against statins:

pam-79-statins

On June 10 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation from Mercola, against statins:

pam-94-statins

GMO and autism-cure claims

On February 2 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation from discredited computer scientist, Stephanie Seneff, which asserts that glyphosate causes autism:

pam-51-seneff-gmo

On February 2 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation claiming that cannabis oil is a treatment for non-verbal autism:

pam-53-autism

Anti-mammography

On April 19 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against life-saving mammograms:

pam-27-mammograms

On February 10 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against mammograms:

pam-44-mammograms

On February 6 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation against mammograms:

pam-49-mammograms

On October 12 2015, O’Connor shared misinformation against mammograms:

pam-81-mammograms

Wi-Fi claims

On March 12 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation about Wi-Fi:

pam-33-wifi

On March 10 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation about Wi-Fi:

pam-38-wifi

On February 29 2016, O’Connor shared misinformation about Wi-Fi:

pam-40-wifi

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 Pamela O’Connor, as well as her other non-evidence-based claims.

Thanks for reading.

_________________________________

Addendum 1

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

________________________________

Addendum 2

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.

_____________________________________

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.

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

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.

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.

________________________________________

Addendum 3

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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Anti-vaccine nurses and midwives 26

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.

Loretta Baxter (Loretta Blaikie, Loretta Salakas) is an registered enrolled nurse in New South Wales. Baxter cited her employer – Holdsworth House Medical Practice – as well as her employment as a practice nurse, and her nursing qualifications on her Facebook profile. Holdsworth House Medical Practice confirmed that Baxter is employed as a practice nurse in their Sydney practice; they did not respond to requests to provide Baxter’s AHPRA registration number:

salakas-1-baxter-profile-holdsworth-house-nurse-university-uts

salakas-45-loretta-blaikie-en-ahpra-registration

Anti-Vaccination Australia Facebook group

On October 18 2016, Baxter responded to a post regarding the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s new position statement on antivax nurses. Baxter claimed that her employers condone her anti-vaccination activism, and she affirmed that she would continue her outspoken anti-vaccination activism regardless of the NMBA’s position statement:

I’m a nurse and will continue to say what I believe about vaccines. They can shove their guidelines up there ass

Suzy Singleton my boss and colleagues all know my views on this issue and are fine with it. I have worked here for a long time and my views and beliefs are no secret to anyone in my workplace so I think I’m safe

salakas-42-ava-october-18-2016-nmba-op-breana-stanley

salakas-1-rn-ava-october-18-2016-baxter-rn-nmba-shove-guidelines-up-arse

On March 30 2016, Baxter volunteered – along with another antivax midwife, Laurie Cairns-Cowan – to disseminate anti-vaccination propaganda in the community via letterbox drops:

salakas-43-ava-march-30-2016-letterbox-1-belgin-colak

salakas-43-ava-march-30-2016-letterbox-2

salakas-43-ava-march-30-2016-letterbox-3

AV vs PV 2 Facebook group

On August 24 2015, Baxter wrongly asserted that there are no safety or efficacy studies for the maternal whooping cough immunisation:

salakas-41-avpv-august-24-2015-no-wc-pregnancy-booster-safety-studies

On September 10 2015, Baxter cited her employment as a nurse in a “sexual health clinic”, to provide dangerous misinformation against the Gardasil immunisation:

salakas-32-avpa-sept-10-2015-sexual-health-vaccine-op

salakas-33-avpv-sept-10-2015-works-in-sexual-health-clinic

More screenshots from the above thread, containing more of Baxter’s anti-vaccination claims, are provided at the end of this post.

Vaccine Choice Australia Facebook group

On November 18 2014, Baxter admitted to lying about her immunisation history, whilst citing her nursing registration to bolster her lies:

salakas-30-vca-november-18-2014-lied-about-ae-to-vax-for-work-co-op

salakas-31-november-18-2014-lied-about-immunisation-status-adverse-recations-for-work

On November 20 2014, Baxter assisted another parent in procuring an immunisation exemption for a child:

salakas-29-vca-november-20-2014-co-forms-dr-in-gordon

On January 9 2015, Baxter cited her nursing registration in an argument against workplace influenza immunisation:

salakas-1-vca-january-10-2015-rn-work-vax-loretta-salakas-baxter

On January 13 2015, Baxter posted a photograph of her “healthy unvaccinated girls”:

salakas-28-vca-jan-13-2015-photo-unvaxed-girls-pixelated

On February 7 2015, Baxter admitted to lying to emergency medical staff, stating that her children are vaccinated:

salakas-26-vca-feb-7-2015-lying-about-kid-vax-status-op

salakas-27-vca-feb-7-2015-lying-about-vax-status

On February 23 2015, Baxter provided anti-vaccination graphs to a commenter which cited death rates, in answer to a question about disease incidence:

salakas-25-vca-february-23-2015-disease-graphs-death-rates

On March 9 2015, Baxter offered to assist anti-vaccination activist Rixta Francis in her flawed antivax discrimination case against the “NSW government”, which never arose:

salakas-24-vca-march-9-2015-rixta-francis-discrimination-action

On March 9 2015, Baxter posted photographs from a work colleague and denigrated her work colleagues for undertaking work-related research and training:

salakas-21-vca-march-9-2015-rn-crows-nest-research

salakas-22-vca-march-9-2015-rn-work

salakas-23-vca-march-9-2015-rn-work

On March 12 2015, Baxter signed an anti-vaccination petition which makes false claims about an infectious diseases expert and demands that he take 10,000 vaccines at once:

salakas-20-vca-march-12-2015-challenge-10000-vaccines-paul-offit

On March 21 2015, Baxter congratulated another group member for an anti-vaccination screed:

salakas-17-vca-march-20-2015-kids-die-hurt-by-vac-op

salakas-18-vca-march-21-vax-injury-kill-post

On April 6 2015, Baxter offered medical advice to another member, based on photographs:

salakas-16-vca-april-6-2015-baby-cellulitis

On April 14 2015, Baxter stated that she followed activism instructions from the disreputable antivax organisation, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, adding that pro-immunisation advocates are “ignorant sheep”:

salakas-15-vca-april-14-2015-avn-action-alert

salakas-14-vca-april-14-2015-provax-are-ignorant-sheep

On June 2 2015, Baxter supplied a vaccine package insert to another member under the false assumption that the insert states that vaccines “cause” autism. The insert says no such thing:

salakas-12-vca-june-2-2015-vax-inserts-op

salakas-13-vca-jue-2-2015-vax-cause-autism-inserts

On June 20 2015, Baxter made plans to attend the first anti-vaccination protest, in Sydney, with anti-vaccination thug, Damien Poulsen:

salakas-11-vca-june-20-2015-poulsen-plan-sydney-protest1

On June 21 2015, Baxter posted a photograph of her children, stating that she was “proud” of her children for making antivax signs. Baxter also praised Damien Poulsen for his running of the protest:

salakas-9-vca-june-21-2015-sydney-protest1-poulsen-pixelated

salakas-10-vca-june-21-2015-sydney-protest1-poulsen

On June 21 2015, Baxter referred to her anti-vaccination protest colleagues as her “team”:

salakas-8-vca-june-21-2015-sydney-protest1

On June 21 2015, Baxter posted another photograph of her children holding anti-vaccination placards, at the Sydney protest:

salakas-7-vca-june-21-2015-sydney-protest1-pixelated

AV vs PV 2 Facebook group; September 10 2015 (continued from above)

Baxter continues to make unfounded arguments against the Gardasil immunisation, again citing her employment, as well as scaremongering with a list of vaccine ingredients and over-exaggerating vaccines adverse events:

salakas-33-avpv-cont

salakas-34-avpv-cont-rn-sexual-health

Baxter states that she is “definitely anti vax” and that many doctors and nurses share her “point of view”:

salakas-35-avpv-cont

salakas-36-avpv-cont

salakas-37-avpv-cont

salakas-38-avpv-cont

salakas-39-avpv-cont

salakas-40-avpv-cont

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 Loretta Baxter.

Thanks for reading.

_________________________________

Addendum 1

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

________________________________

Addendum 2

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.

_____________________________________

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.

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

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.

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.

________________________________________

Addendum 3

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.

___________________________________________

Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, Gardasil, HPV, Immunisation, meryl dorey, nurse, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Miranda Kerr promoted anti-vaccination misinformation on her website in 2013

A recurring story which has surfaced in the media again, today, is the suspected link between Miranda Kerr and anti-vaccination activists. No direct evidence has ever been published that Kerr, herself, had ever actively promoted anti-vaccination misinformation; but, today, that changed. After what appears to have been a concerted airbrushing of the internet, finally something appeared.

Back in June 2015, Mamamia published an article on Kerr’s fame being used to promote an anti-vaccination book, Well Adjusted Babies, which was written by anti-vaccination chiropractor, Jennifer Barham-Floreani. Barham-Floreani, along with her equally antivax chiropractor husband, Simon Floreani, had/have been members of Meryl Dorey’s disreputable Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network –  itself the subject of a public health warning – for many years. When questions were raised about Kerr’s brand being used to promote the anti-vaccination book, traces of this endorsement were quickly erased:

jbf-55-well-adj-page-miranda-kerr-june-23

It was  somewhat surprising, then, that only six months after that Mamamia article, the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation announced, on December 17 2015, that Miranda Kerr would be the new ambassador for the charity.

When we fast-forward to February 2016, the Kerr family featured in another Mamamia article, this time regarding the rabid anti-vaccinationism which was on show on Kerr’s mother’s Facebook page. Indeed, Kerr’s mother – Therese Kerr – had already been promoting non-evidence-based therapies and conspiracy theories for quite some time. And Therese Kerr, like her daughter, was also planning to get her own public relations machine into maternity wards in several private hospitals. This post from May 23 2016 was deleted from her Facebook page, once the screenshot hit Twitter:

kerr-41-hospitals-partnered-may-23-2016

Therese Kerr has also been active within the discredited, anti-vaccination, autism-cure movement for some time, as exposed by Clair Weaver of the Australian Women’s Weekly.

The reason it is important to highlight the anti-vaccination activism of Therese Kerr is because Therese Kerr also actively trades on the fame of her daughter, Miranda – in the same manner as was attempted by Jennifer Barham-Floreani – with her daughter’s demonstrable consent. There are several recent examples on Therese Kerr’s Facebook page.

From September 27 2016:

kerr-49-miranda-sept-2016

From September 28 2016:

kerr-48-miranda-sept-2016

From September 20 2016:

kerr-47-sept-20-2016-miranda-photo

This is an important point: Miranda Kerr’s name and image – her brand – is being used to promote her mother’s business interests, on her mother’s business Facebook page; on this very same forum which features multiple barking mad anti-vaccination and other offensive conspiracy theories; misinformation which is in direct conflict with Miranda Kerr’s role as an ambassador for a women’s and children’s hospital. How did this ever come to pass?

Well, many doctors have been asking the same questions of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, for many weeks. On September 30 2016, articles appeared in Mamamia and The Guardian, based on letters which had been written in protest at Miranda Kerr’s appointment as an ambassador, citing her unsuitability.

Today, Rose Brennan published another article in The Daily Telegraph, which features some more concerning points which were not previously covered:

Kerr’s Kora Organics website cautions against people using sunscreen because it “acts as carriers for airborne toxins”, and advises a person who wants “beautiful skin” to drink “pure water” not tap water because it has fluoride.

Kerr was embroiled in a vaccination furore when a “holistic parenting” book espousing baby chiropractic services and anti-vaccination messages used Kerr’s image and quote.

Further fuelling doctor’s anger was a now-deleted blog post on her website which claimed apricot seeds prevented cancer and “contain the components to cure the cancer” — more so than chemotherapy and radiation.

And, still, the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation is steadfast in its refusal to remove Kerr as its ambassador; dollars speak louder than sense, or ethics, as always:

Foundation chief Catherine Oates Smith said they had netted an extra $3 million in donations since Kerr’s appointment.

“We are very proud that these funds help save the lives of women and babies on a daily basis at the Royal and are proud to have Miranda as our ambassador,” Ms Oates Smith said.

It is clear nothing will affect their decision; not even this brand new information.

Today it was revealed that Miranda Kerr promoted an anti-vaccination blog post which was written by anti-vaccination activist and nutritionist – and long-term member and supporter of the antivax AVN – Cyndi O’Meara, in 2013. The blog post was written in support of an embarrassing German survey of antivax parents, conducted by a homeopath. Here is the text of the now-deleted anti-vaccination post on Kora Organics, Miranda Kerr’s website:

The Health of Unvaccinated vs Vaccinated Children and Adults

I’d like to share that I have participated in a survey/research project for people who have been vaccinated or non-vaccinated (that would be the whole world). The aim of the project is to determine the health of both groups – do they differ? The Research project is based out of Germany and the result of the survey has been published. You can go to the following link for more information or if you would like to participate in the project. www.vaccineinjury.info

The research project is ongoing and the head researcher continues to collate more information with over 10,000 people world wide now in the survey.

I was asked to write my story about my health and my journey with my children’s health and I thought you might like to read what I had to say.

This is my story.

My Dad was a pharmacist back in the 1950′s after 6 years of pharmacy he decided that all the drugs that were being dispensed were not really helping people but causing more pain and illness. He left the pharmacy in New Zealand and went to the USA to become a Chiropractor.

His whole life changed and so did his thoughts on health. He no longer was mechanistic in his beliefs but more vitalisitic and wholistic about health care.

My siblings and I were born between 1959 and 1964; my Dad and my Mum (who was a nurse) would not vaccinate us nor give us any antibiotics or painkillers. My Dad believed if we fought the small infections and pains when we were babies then our bodies would get the practice to fight the bigger infections and pains as we got older. It’s interesting to note that I have the antibodies for many diseases, including German Measles and Malaria but I have never had the diseases nor been vaccinated.

I’m 52 this year and I’ve still not had a vaccination, antibiotic, painkiller or any form of prescribed or un-prescribed medication. I have a perfect weight, heaps of energy, love life and can’t complain about anything in my life. Yes, I’ve had loss of loved ones but my physical and mental state has able to get me through the loss of my mother, sister, grandmother, mother in law and girlfriend within a 12 month period. I miss them but don’t define my life as a result of their passing.

I have three children; 22, 20 and 18 they too have never been vaccinated and have never had any antibiotics or prescribed or un-prescribed medications, they are the picture of health and wellbeing, they have no allergies, ADD, ADHD, autism, asthma, or any physical or mental health issues. My two girls have menstrual cycles that are not even a hiccup in their month. They are well-rounded healthy children and I thank the teaching of my Dad and the foresight that he chose not to vaccinate or medicate us.

I am also a nutritionist and my philosophy is eating only real food – Fruit, vegetables, meat (organ as well), poultry, fish, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, butter and good quality raw dairy as much as I can. We don’t eat any packaged foods, I cook everything from scratch and believe that with my start in life, my out door lifestyle and having a healthy diet have all contributed to my families health and wellbeing.

My legacy for my family is that my children understand this philosophy and will, in turn, bring up their children without the need for vaccinations and medications and teach a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve made many assumptions in my story (that it is the lack of vaccines and medications and a healthy lifestyle that have created mine and my children’s health), but this is my story.

Happy Changing Habits

Cyndi O’Meara

[Captured March 6 2013]

kerr-miranda-1-kora-wayback

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Posted in anti-fluoride, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, chiropractic, Conspiracy theory, hospitals, Immunisation, meryl dorey, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia issues position statement on anti-vaccine nurses and midwives

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.

nmba-3-october-11-2016-position-statement-on-antivax-rn-en-rm

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Posted in anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Immunisation, meryl dorey, midwife, nurse, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, vaccination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is a notorious Queensland antivaxer obtaining GoFundMe donations via deception and defamation?

On September 30 2016, US anti-vaccination activist Sherri Tenpenny re-published an April blog post, from her Truthkings conspiracy theory blog, in which allegations of domestic violence – first published on a GoFundMe page – against an individual were repeated. Tenpenny broadcast this blog post to her more than 200,000 Facebook fans:

stancombe-132-tenpenny-post-september-30-2016

Tenpenny had previously posted the defamatory blog post, to her more than 200,000 fans, on April 4 2016:

stancombe-136-april-4-2016-tk-blog-post

The anti-vaccination organisation, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (AVN), had published the GoFundMe fundraising page – containing the defamatory claims, on which the Tenpenny blog post is based – to its almost 12,000 fans, on April 3 2016:

stancombe-134-april-3-2016-avn-page-gofundme

The president of the AVN, Tasha David, had published the GoFundMe page in the rabid anti-vaccination group, Vaccine Choice Australia, containing almost 4000 members, on March 29 2016:

stancombe-135-march-29-2016-vca-tasha-david

AVN president Tasha David also published the GoFundMe page to the No Jab No Pay No Way Protest page, as an admin of the page, to its almost 4000 fans, on March 29 2016:

stancombe-135-march-29-2016-njnp-tasha-david-admin-gofundme

A PDF of Tenpenny’s defamatory Truthkings blog post can be found here.

A PDF of the GoFundMe fundraising page, including all of its updates, can be found here.

The text of the GoFundMe page has remained unchanged since March 29 2016:

stancombe-137-gofundme-text-october-6-2016

Anna Stancombe has continued to publicly make false and defamatory accusations of domestic violence against her ex-husband, Mr Anil Patel, since March 28 2016, the date on which the GoFundMe page was set up. Stancombe has raised money based on the claims made on that GoFundMe page:

stancombe-133-gofundme-money-raised-october-6-2016

________________________

Two central claims from the GoFundMe page will be addressed.

1 “Due to ongoing domestic violence issue and harrasement…”

FALSE: allegations of domestic violence against Mr Patel were found to be unsubstantiated, in the Caboolture Magistrates Court, on September 15 2016.

2 “He is now trying to force me through Court to get the Children vaccianted. :-(”

FALSE: Mr Patel is not demanding that the children be immunised. It is noted as concerning that the children are not immunised. At this stage no one is being forced to immunise anyone.

________________________

Of course, this behaviour from Anna Stancombe appears to be consistent.

Anna Stancombe – a high school teacher from Caboolture, Queensland – has featured on this blog a number of times for her anti-vaccination activism, including her trolling of the Light for Riley Facebook page. From my earlier post about Stancombe we can see we’re dealing with a class act with a history of attempted rorting.

Further information on the appalling 2011 behaviour of Stancombe/Patel can be viewed on the Ripoff Report website, in which it is alleged that Stancombe/Patel attempted to defraud an airline of damages for a baby stroller. When a baby store proprietor would not go along with her alleged fraud attempt, she attacked him and accused him of being a paedophile, along with the website administrator of the Ripoff Report website. The collection of Ripoff Report posts on Stancombe/Patel can be found here.

In more recent times, Stancombe bragged about undertaking a rort against Centrelink, in which she misled the government agency in order to access benefits to which she was not entitled. Some weeks later she repeated her claims.

I hope that Mr Patel will be seeking damages for the harm done to his reputation by all of the above individuals and organisations who have assisted in the publication – to potentially hundreds of thousands of readers – of defamatory claims made against him.

I hope Queensland Police will be investigating any perceived fundraising irregularities in Anna Stancombe’s fundraising campaign.

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Posted in abuse, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vaxxed Australia/New Zealand “leader” inflicted bleach enemas on her autistic son

WARNING

This article contains multiple images of 
posts made by parents of autistic children, 
which include photos of gastrointestinal mucosa,
and faeces, which are presented as the trophies and 
by-products of bleach enemas, known as CD Protocol.

Please watch this 11-second clip. This is autistic rights advocate, April Griffin, on CBC’s The Fifth Estate program, from March 4 2016:

One of the most horrific forms of child-abuse practised by the nefarious autism-cure cult is the use of MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) in a therapy called CD Protocol (chlorine dioxide). The FDA issued a safety alert about MMS, in 2010:

fda-alert-mms-cd-protocol-2010

In 2014, the FDA issued a further press release regarding the harms caused by so-called autism-cure treatments, and threatened action against suppliers and practitioners [my bold]:

FDA Cracks Down on False Claims

According to Gary Coody, R.Ph., FDA’s national health fraud coordinator, the agency has warned a number of companies that they are facing possible legal action if they continue to make false or misleading claims about products and therapies claiming to treat or cure autism. Some of these so-called therapies carry significant health risks and include:

  • “Chelation Therapies.” These products claim to cleanse the body of toxic chemicals and heavy metals by binding to them and “removing” them from circulation. They come in a number of forms, including sprays, suppositories, capsules, liquid drops and clay baths. FDA-approved chelating agents are approved for specific uses, such as the treatment of lead poisoning and iron overload, and are available by prescription only. FDA-approved prescription chelation therapy products should only be used under medical supervision. Chelating important minerals needed by the body can lead to serious and life-threatening outcomes.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. This involves breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber and has been cleared by FDA for certain medical uses, such as treating decompression sickness suffered by divers. It has not been cleared for autism, among other conditions.
  • Miracle Mineral Solution. Also known as Miracle Mineral Supplement and MMS, this product becomes a potent chemical that‘s used as bleach when mixed according to package directions. FDA has received reports of consumers who say they experienced nausea, severe vomiting and life-threatening low blood pressure after drinking the MMS and citrus juice mixture.

Remember that section on chelation. This will come up again.

Writing on the 2014 FDA statement on MMS, Just the Vax provided a biography of Kerri Rivera, an unqualified practitioner who is the creator, or at least the main protagonist, of the abusive CD Protocol:

This is perhaps one of the most horrifying and ludicrous autism “cures” and Kerri Rivera is at the forefront of this disgusting and abusive snake oil peddling.  Ms. Rivera has presented MMS/Chlorine Dioxide (CD) as an autism cure at the premier crankfest AutismOne since 2010 and will be there again this year claiming 128 children “recovered” by bleaching them. Ms. Rivera would have her followers believe that since chlorine dioxide isn’t sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) that it isn’t a bleach.  She is either too stupid, too evil or both to make this claim as “bleach” is a classification of chemical compounds, not a single one as Emily Willingham so aptly demonstrated.  

Users abusers of MMS/CD report nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhoea but Ms. Rivera blithely exclaims that “it’s working”.  Parents who force this on their autistic children also report and proudly supply pictures of their children’s intestinal mucosa which is sloughing off to which Ms. Rivera claims that it’s “parasites”.  Ms. Rivera lives hides in Mexico but peddles her snake oil globally so is not immune from FDA action.

This footage shows a child being forced to drink MMS, purported to be recorded at an AutismOne event, in 2014 [40 seconds]:

Also in 2014, the Herald Sun reported on direct harm which has been caused by MMS:

Genesis II Church of Health and Healing leader James Humble is coming to Melbourne in mid-November as part of an international tour spruiking his “Miracle Mineral Solution”.

Ten Victorians have reported being poisoned by MMS in the past five years – which is believed to be a “vast under-­reporting” of cases – and critics say the bleach is potentially deadly.

The cult recommends MMS “sacrament protocols” to treat diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, asthma and ­autism, even suggesting it is a “promising” treatment for Ebola.

More recently – following an RTÉ investigation – an Irish doctor was struck off the the medical register for providing MMS, based on the delusional ramblings of cult leader and ex-Scientologist Jim Humble, and Rivera:

A Belfast doctor exposed by RTÉ’s Prime Time as having directed a controversial bleach solution MMS be given to a Dublin child with autism has been voluntarily struck off by the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC).

Finbar Magee applied to be removed from the GMC register in advance of a fitness to practice hearing due to be held at the GMC’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal in November. He has been a doctor since 1987.

The GMC had been investigating Mr Magee following a Prime Time report which revealed that in 2011, he directed MMS be given to a three-year-old Dublin child with autism.

On July 6 2016, a disheveled and outraged Andrew Wakefield took aim at a journalist, from The Sunday Times, who had asked Wakefield about the promotion of some non-evidence-based therapies for which accusations had been leveled against the Vaxxed stars and producers, Wakefield and Polly Tommey. Wakefield – correctly, as far as I can tell – flatly denied that he had ever promoted MMS. We need to remind ourselves that the man who joked about withdrawing blood from children at his child’s birthday party – for a fiver, without research ethics approval – thinks that MMS treatment is a bridge too far.

Polly Tommey, who runs a rabidly anti-vaccination autism charity, called The Autism Trust – and who is also the person who rallied her fans in support of actual child-killers; who stated that there are no safe vaccines; who said that parents should stay away from paediatricians; and who claimed that she would never judge any parent who murders their autistic child – also flatly denied that MMS has ever been promoted, let alone featured on her fora [1 minute]:

MMS has never been discussed

On June 7 2016, only one month before that denial, Tommey’s charity – The Autism Trust – tweeted a link to Kerri Rivera’s Facebook page – Healing The Symptoms Known As Autism – which is published for the purpose of promoting Rivera’s dangerous and abusive CD Protocol:

tommey-2-tweet-the-autism-trust-link-to-rivera-cd-june-7-2016

This is the Rivera Facebook page, which is still linked from The Autism Trust’s tweet; notice the deep links to the Genesis II cult of Jim Humble, as well as this description on the main page:

More than 230 children have recovered (to an ATEC score of 10 or below) using the CD Autism protocol!

tommey-2-rivera-fb-page-direct-link-from-the-autism-trust-tweet

The following post, promoting Rivera’s CD Protocol, also appeared on Tommey’s charity’s Facebook page, Autism Mothers. This post has since been deleted:

tommey-5-autism-mothers-share-rivera-facebook-page-since-deleted

And not only has MMS and CD Protocol featured on Tommey’s charity’s Facebook page, it received a glowing testimonial, in 2013. This post has also since been deleted:

tommey-4-autism-mothers-mms-cd-protocol-august-3-2013

Another of the dangerous autism-cure therapies mentioned above in the FDA statement of 2014, is chelation. Let’s be clear about this: chelation therapy can and has killed an autistic child, among many other people. The FDA statement, again:

“Chelation Therapies.” These products claim to cleanse the body of toxic chemicals and heavy metals by binding to them and “removing” them from circulation. They come in a number of forms, including sprays, suppositories, capsules, liquid drops and clay baths. FDA-approved chelating agents are approved for specific uses, such as the treatment of lead poisoning and iron overload, and are available by prescription only. FDA-approved prescription chelation therapy products should only be used under medical supervision. Chelating important minerals needed by the body can lead to serious and life-threatening outcomes.

No one should be promoting this stuff as an autism cure, especially as this cure is based on the debunked theory that autism is caused by heavy metals, namely mercury in vaccines. In Australia, the non-evidence-based MINDD Foundation still promotes chelation as a detoxification therapy for autism and other conditions, such as ADHD, unrelated to heavy metal toxicity, on its website:

Detoxification – There are numerous ways to detoxify including diet, supplementation, exercise, epsom salt baths and chelation. Most practitioners believe the choice of method depends on the degree of toxicity.

Who Is It For?

Everyone may benefit because Biomedicine both treats and helps to prevent disease. Biomedical principles maintain that poor cell health is behind all disease and providing nutrients, detoxing and eliminating infections may get to the root cause of many conditions including but not exclusive to; ADHD, Allergies, Anxiety, Asthma, Autism, Behaviour, Cancer, Celiac, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Diabetes, Digestive Disorders, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Eating Disorder, Eczema, Food Intolerances, Heart Disease, Infections, Learning Delay, Obesity, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Pyroluria, Schizophrenia, Sensory Integration, Speech-Language Delay.

Children especially may benefit from biomedicine because it helps to ensure that the body and brain have essential nutrients during critical developmental periods.

On July 22 2015, Tommey’s charity – a charity which is meant to advocate for children and adults with autism – tweeted a link to Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccination organisation, Generation Rescue; a link which still resolves directly onto the “Biomedical Treatment for Autism” page,  which lists chelation as one of the treatments:

tommey-3-generation-rescue-tweet-chelation-therapy-july-22-2015

One of the groups mentioned on the Autism Mothers Facebook page – in the 2013 screenshot, above – is CD Autism. With almost 9,500 members, the group is a repository of some high-level child abuse, via bleach enemas, and oral drops, with literally hundreds of photos on show. Originally set up to promote Rivera’s CD Protocol, it now appears Rivera has left the group, for reasons unknown. A extensive collection of unsavoury photos from the group – as stated in the warning at the top of this post – will be featured in the appendix at the end of this post.

The group has many familiar anti-vaccination names amongst its membership. One such name is Erik Nanstiel, who featured in the anti-vaccination fantasy-film, Vaxxed; directed by and starring Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree and Polly Tommey. Indeed, Nanstiel also lists his current employer as, The Autism File, which is Polly Tommey’s charity’s official antivax magazine:

nanstiel-3-cd-austism-group-member-autism-file-magazine

I had previously come across Nanstiel in many social media fora, for his rabid anti-vaccinationism. Therefore, it was no surprise that this 2015 post vilifying infectious diseases expert, Dr Paul Offit, appeared on his Facebook profile:

nanstiel-1-paul-offit-makes-murdery-and-stabby

In the CD Protocol Facebook group, only one comment appears from Nanstiel, congratulating the story of an autistic child receiving bleach enemas, as posted by Rivera, in February 2016 [excerpts only in this screenshot, edited due to length]:

nanstiel-4-feb-13-2016-applaud-rivera-cd-protocol-in-cd-autism

Another long-term member of the CD Protocol group, and someone who has been at the forefront of Australian Vaxxed activism, is the president of the antivax Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, Tasha David; although it appears that David has not commented in the CD Protocol group. David, along with the AVN’s callous public officer, Meryl Dorey, has been extremely vocal in the campaign to bring Wakefield’s conspiracy theory film Down Under. It is, eternally, a good thing that there is a public health warning against the AVN:

david-105-cd-autism-group-member

However, the main Vaxxed activist in Australia and New Zealand is a person named Sarah Cox (Cox now uses the Facebook name, Sarah Jayne). In private messaging with autism advocate, Fiona O’Leary – in July 2016 – Cox confirmed that she is in charge of Vaxxed promotion, in New Zealand:

cd-cox-29-july-2016-dm-confims-running-vaxxed-nz

Even better, for Cox, Polly Tommey cited Cox – by name – as one of the “leaders” in Australia and New Zealand, on June 17 2016 [30  seconds]:

Sarah Cox is the creator and main administrator of the public Facebook group, Bring Vaxxed to Australia/New Zealand. To imply that the group is a cesspit run by a barking conspiracy theorist is probably unfair to cesspits. However, apart from the usual anti-vaccination scaremongering in the group, the admins have practised and allowed some extremely grubby attacks and violent rhetoric on the page.

On June 11 2016, this post advocated violence against Dr Paul Offit, law professor Dr Dorit Reiss, and California Senator Dr Richard Pan, amongst others. This post was only removed after I blogged about it:

vaxxed-10-punch-one-in-the-face-june-11-2016

On June 12 2016, Cox and her colleagues attacked a 12-year-old boy; one of Cox’s colleagues even making derogatory claims about – of all things – people with autism:

vaxxed-13-arturo

Cox also exploits topical and contemporaneous events, using them in her series of Vaxxed memes.

Cox has exploited the civil rights movement:

vaxxed-32-sarah-cox-mlk

Cox grubbily exploited the death of Muhammad Ali:

vaxxed-5-ali

vaxxed-6-ali

vaxxed-7-ali

vaxxed-8-ali

Cox roped Star Wars into her anti-vaccination activism:

vaxxed-22-star-wars-cox-profile

vaxxed-23-star-wars-cox-profile

Yet, worst of all, Cox exploited victims of The Holocaust, in the name of anti-vaccinationism and Andrew Wakefield:

vaxxed-21-holocaust-cox-profile

Sarah Cox was a member of CD Autism; and she was an extremely active and forceful member, at least until July 29 2016:

cd-cox-1-member-still-on-july-29-2016

Cox even plugged Vaxxed in there, on May 12 2016, before she left the group and deleted all of her posts (more on that, later):

cd-cox-27-may-12-2016-promoting-vaxxed-in-cd-autism-group

On October 14 2013, in CD Autism, Cox made this comment which probably best explains the rationale behind those who practise Rivera’s abusive therapies. They believe that autism is caused by a bunch of things which do not cause autism, especially parasites, and vaccines. And it also explains the scatological fixation as evidenced by the hundreds of photographs of faeces and gastrointestinal mucosa, on plastic plates and lids, sifted with plastic forks, as though preparing for a morbidly pungent entree. Again, for those who can stomach the photos, these will appear in a collection in the appendix of this post:

cd-cox-11-october-14-2013-autism-is-parasites-toxins-heavy-metals-etc

On September 17 2013 – in what should be of great concern to New Zealand health authorities – Cox declared that she had managed to get a NZ medical practitioner on board to help with the CD Protocol child-abuse:

cd-cox-2-september-17-2013-gp-in-nz

On September 12 2013, Cox posted a series of photographs of her son’s faeces and GI mucosa, after having been given bleach enemas, by Cox. Cox also administered MMS/CD drops to her son, orally, as is common:

cd-cox-4-september-12-2013-photos

On September 15 2013, Cox shared her son’s feelings of pain and discomfort due to the bleach enemas:

cd-cox-3-september-15-2013-enemas-pain

On September 15 2013, Cox explained her protocol of inflicting multiple, daily bleach enemas on her son:

cd-cox-6-september-15-2013-twice-daily-enemas

On October 22 2013, Cox posted photos of her bleach enema kits:

cd-cox-14-october-22-2013-enema-cd-equipment

Even as late as February 7 2016, Cox was still zealously advocating bleach enemas, which makes her private messaging with Fiona O’Leary even more interesting:

cd-cox-26-february-7-2016-still-promoting-cd-in-group

In July 2016, autism advocate Fiona O’Leary was contacted by Cox, via Facebook private messaging. Fiona raised the subject of CD Protocol:

cd-cox-28-july-2016-dm-denies-using-cd-protocol-cont-1

Cox denied ever giving her son the CD Protocol:

cd-cox-28-july-2016-dm-denies-using-cd-protocol

Cox even attempted to claim that she had made complaints about products available in camping shops:

cd-cox-28-july-2016-dm-denies-using-cd-protocol-cont-2

Fiona made it clear to Cox that she had evidence that Cox uses the CD Protocol on her son:

cd-cox-28-july-2016-dm-denies-using-cd-protocol-cont-3

Cox denied giving her son bleach enemas:

cd-cox-28-july-2016-dm-denies-using-cd-protocol-cont-4

Cox then justified giving her son bleach enemas:

cd-cox-28-july-2016-dm-denies-using-cd-protocol-cont-5

Cox then attacked Fiona, referring to Fiona as “Fiona oloopyloo”:

cd-cox-28-july-2016-dm-denies-using-cd-protocol-cont-6-fiona-loopy-loo

After the private message conversation, Sarah Cox went on a deleting spree in the CD Autism group, removing herself from the group, and changing her Facebook name to “Sarah Jayne.”

Of course, this is not the first time Fiona O’Leary has been attacked by the autism-cure cult, and by the makers and supporters of Wakefield’s Vaxxed.

On July 25 2016, Cox shared a petition which was created by an actual antivax troll – a fake account – as payback for Fiona’s outspoken and justified criticism of Wakefield’s antivax film. Wakefield, Bigtree and Tommey even had the CEO of the film’s distributor – Cinema Libre – send legal threats demanding that Fiona shut up:

vaxxed-28-fiona-petition-sarah-cox

It needs to be made very clear: Fiona O’Leary is not an “unqualified advocate”. Fiona O’Leary is not a “troll.”

Fiona O’Leary, a woman with autism, has attained – at her own expense; and in her own time; and whilst she advocates for people with autism; and whilst caring for her own five children, two of whom are autistic – a HETAC Level 6 Certificate in Autism Studies at University College Cork, as well as a FETAC Level 8 Train the Trainer qualification, so  as to better serve those for whom she advocates.

Not that any of this matters to Polly Tommey, whose autism charity – an autism charity – vilified Fiona O’Leary – an autistic person, mother of autistic children, and unpaid autism advocate – as a “FAKE Advocate”, on Twitter, on August 15 2016:

tommey-1-the-autism-trust-fiona-petition-august-15-2016

The biggest question which arises for many of us upon hearing of the child-abuse practised by the autism-cure cult is, “why do you all stand by silently whilst these parents – driven and conned by cranks who care more about cash than they do about kids, or kids with autism – inflict dangerous, toxic, painful, embarrassing, experimental treatments on their children; these children who cannot grant consent, nor object to these ghastly invasions of their cavities?” Why is this?

Why is it that people like Tasha David, Meryl Dorey, and the delusional Judy Wilyman all screech – embarrassingly and incorrectly – about evidence-based public immunisation policy being inexplicably akin to “crimes against humanity” and a “breach of the Nuremberg Code”, whilst remaining completely and ineptly, or deliberately, oblivious to the intent of the The Nuremberg Code, as a set of principles which guide research ethics regarding human trials and experimentation?

wilyman-221-nuremberg-code-breach-sept-27-2016

Why don’t these anti-vaccination activists howl and claw at the heavens about these ghouls who inflict experimental bleach enemas and chelation on defenseless autistic children? Where are they now? Why do they refuse to apply these principles to their colleagues?

The ten points of the Nuremberg Code

  1. Required is the voluntary, well-informed, understanding consent of the human subject in a full legal capacity.
  2. The experiment should aim at positive results for society that cannot be procured in some other way.
  3. It should be based on previous knowledge (like, an expectation derived from animal experiments) that justifies the experiment.
  4. The experiment should be set up in a way that avoids unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injuries.
  5. It should not be conducted when there is any reason to believe that it implies a risk of death or disabling injury.
  6. The risks of the experiment should be in proportion to (that is, not exceed) the expected humanitarian benefits.
  7. Preparations and facilities must be provided that adequately protect the subjects against the experiment’s risks.
  8. The staff who conduct or take part in the experiment must be fully trained and scientifically qualified.
  9. The human subjects must be free to immediately quit the experiment at any point when they feel physically or mentally unable to go on.
  10. Likewise, the medical staff must stop the experiment at any point when they observe that continuation would be dangerous.

You can watch Fiona O’Leary’s complete video – from August 16 2016 – which explains the use of these awful, abusive treatments, as well as her interactions with Sarah Cox [21 minutes]:

Recommended viewing, from CBC’s The Fifth Estate, broadcast on March 4 2016 [21 minutes]:

Recommended viewing, from NBC Chicago, broadcast on March 18 2015 [3 minutes]:

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Appendix

Posts and comments by Sarah Cox, in the CD Autism Facebook group.

cd-cox-4-sept-12-cont-7

cd-cox-4-sept-12-cont-1

cd-cox-4-sept-12-cont-2

cd-cox-4-sept-12-cont-3

cd-cox-4-sept-12-cont-4

cd-cox-4-sept-12-cont-5

cd-cox-4-sept-12-cont-6

cd-cox-5-september-15-2013-guidance-on-mix-ratios

cd-cox-7-september-27-2013-cd-flushing-out-toxins

cd-cox-8-october-12-2013-cd-shakes-up-the-mitochondria

cd-cox-9-october-12-2016-parasites-1

cd-cox-9-october-12-2016-parasites-2-enema-equipment

cd-cox-10-october-12-2013-good-bacteria-survive-cd

cd-cox-12-october-16-2013-photos

cd-cox-13-october-17-2013-parasites-etc-dna

cd-cox-15-october-28-2013-cd-treats-autism-symptoms

cd-cox-16-november-26-2013-parasites-egg-sacs-photos

cd-cox-17-november-30-2013-slough-photos-congrats

cd-cox-18-december-3-2013-enemas-8-months

cd-cox-19-december-4-2013-new-cd-member

cd-cox-20-december-4-2013-sourcing-supplies-advice

cd-cox-21-december-16-2013-photos-slough-congrats

cd-cox-22-december-16-2013-enemas-easier

cd-cox-23-december-18-2013-photo-fell-out-slough-full-moon

cd-cox-24-december-19-2013-sourcing-supplies-chemist

Post about a child suffering “severe chest pain”, from the CD Autism group.

cd-cox-25-december-23-2013-severe-chest-pain-in-child

General photos from the CD Autism group.

Randy Short is the group administrator:

cd-1-randy-short-rivera-book-and-enema-gear

cd-2-photo-monsters-redact

cd-3-photos-stool-pulp-redact

This non-autistic toddler was given the Kalcker Protocol, which is still bleach enemas:

cd-4-photo-of-nappy-and-faeces-redact

Because there are so many, these are screenshots of the photo albums:

cd-5-photos-collection

cd-6-photos-collection

cd-7-photos-collection

cd-8-photos-collection

cd-9-photos-collection

cd-10-photos-collection

cd-11-photos-collection

cd-12-photos-collection

cd-13-photos-collection

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Posted in abuse, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination dishonesty, Anti-vaccine thugs, australian vaccination network, AVN, meryl dorey, public health, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Tasha David, violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Organiser of CLIFF film festival an anti-Semitic, anti-vaccine, Sandy Hook massacre denialist

David Thrussell is the artistic director of the now infamous Castlemaine Local and International Film Festival (CLIFF), which was attempting to show the anti-vaccination film, Vaxxed, starring and directed by demonstrable fraud and liar, Andrew Wakefield. The film was pulled from the festival, only to have the viewing brought forward by one week by a new, anonymous collective. At this stage it appears that the Theatre Royal Castlemaine is leaning towards not showing the antivax film at all.

Only this morning, Thrussell was interviewed on a local radio station, MAINfm, where he was allowed to continue lying about Vaxxed and the well-funded critics of CLIFF. Thrussell repeated his lie that no critics of CLIFF had seen the film, which is untrue; many of us have seen the film, several times. Thrussell also repeated his lies that Vaxxed is not anti-vaccine (it is extremely antivax), and that the film only refers to one vaccine, the MMR (the film repeatedly refers to DPT as a cause of autism, as well as the chicken pox vaccine; and antivax activist Brandy Vaughan is also depicted perusing an easily visible document against the Gardasil vaccine). One wonders if Thrussell has seen the film. As we will see, he has been plugging it, and anti-vaccinationism, for months. So much for the disinterested film festival organiser.

Thrussell is a businessman. His business is music. One of his ventures is a band called Snog. And Snog appears to make hay, and a living, off the promulgation of conspiracy theories. One conspiracy theory in particular prompted today’s collection.

One of the worst, most repugnant conspiracy theories is Sandy Hook denialism, in which it is accused that there was no mass-murder of elementary schoolchildren and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The victims, and their families, it is argued are all crisis actors: fakes.

Philosopher, Dr Patrick Stokes, wrote Why conspiracy theories aren’t harmless fun, on The Conversation website:

Within days, and increasingly, within mere hours and minutes, a tragic event is being filtered through a worldview that insists these events are not what they seem. Conspiracy theorists leap on the tragedy as yet more evidence of dark forces manipulating the world for their own nefarious ends. The kids killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT? They never existed. Their grieving families? “Crisis actors.” This is all Obama, you see, and his one-world-government comrades staging ‘false flag’ attacks to justify disarming the citizenry. He’s coming for your guns.

And:

In his critical introduction to conspiracy theories, the sociologist Jovan Byford notes that the academic study of conspiracy theories went through a phase where scholars treated these theories as intriguing pop-culture artefacts that were essentially harmless. In the X-Files-inflected 90s, decades out from the horrific anti-Semitic conspiracy fantasties of Nesta Webster and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, it was easy to treat conspiracy theory as an exercise of playful postmodern irony. No-one gets hurt, right?

Tell that to Gene Rosen, who helped kids who had fled the shooting at Newtown only to be hounded with abusive phone messages from people accusing him of being a government stooge. Tell that to the families of Grace McDonnell and Chase Kowalski, two seven year olds killed at Newtown, whose parents had to endure a phone call from the man who stole the memorial to their children telling them their children never existed.

ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program covered Sandy Hook conspiracies, specifically. It is a harrowing, enraging program:

Grieving parents from the Sandy Hook massacre are being told their children never died or never even existed.

The harassment started within days of the shooting, when a young man armed with a military-style assault rifle ran amok at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, USA, in December 2012, killing 20 first graders and six teachers.

It continues to this day.

“F*** you!! Your child never died at Sandy Hook,” is one among thousands of online posts that Lenny and Veronique Pozner have had to deal with as they mourn their six-year-old son Noah.

“Where’s Noah going to die next?” is another.

Some “gun truthers” claim Sandy Hook was a government-sponsored stunt aimed at galvanising support for tougher gun laws.

Conspiracy theorists are not harmless. They harm real people in the real world who have suffered enough.

As we have seen, conspiracy theories can spill over into real violence. And, regardless of what Andrew Wakefield claims about his followers – that they are beyond reproach – they always manage to sort him out. See this brand new video compilation of Wakefield discussing the use of violent threats and intimidation against critics, with Vaxxed devotee, Shawn Dhu, of Perth:

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All of this makes Thrussell’s business and artistic interests even more nauseating. What follows is a collection of Thrussell’s various conspiracy theory postings. Please, sit back and read all of them. This guy represents the Castlemaine community. I hope they reconsider his worth among them.

Sandy Hook massacre denialism (along with many other denials of atrocities):

thrussell-13-sandy-hook-crisis-actors

He even uses the term “crisis actor” in his business and artistic works. Thrussell literally trades on the term:

thrussell-23-crisis-actor

Denial about facts surrounding the Orlando massacre:

thrussell-9-orlando

Back in April, Thrussell was already promoting Vaxxed:

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Vaxxed promotion:

thrussell-20-vaxxed

Vaxxed promotion:

thrussell-18-wakefield

Anti-vaccination “vaccine checkpoint” meme, back in April:

thrussell-17-antivax

Vaxxed promotion:

thrussell-15-vaxxed

Anti-Semitic, anti-vaccination, Illuminati lizard overlords meme:

thrussell-14-antivax-antisemitism

Anti-vaccination meme:

thrussell-11-antivax

Anti-vaccination, chemtrails, HAARP; this has it all:

thrussell-1-antivax-chemtrails-haarp

Anti-vaccination meme, again:

thrussell-2-antivax

Anti-Semitic, New World Order meme:

thrussell-21-antisemitic-nwo

Anti-Semitic meme:

thrussell-10-antisemitism-antifluoride

Anti-Semitic, Illuminati, satanism meme:

thrussell-3-nwo-antisemitism

Illuminati, New World Order meme:

thrussell-4-nwo

Chemtrails:

thrussell-22-chemtrails

Illuminati deliberately drugging children meme is especially dismissive and hurtful of children living with disabilities:

thrussell-16-drugging-of-kids-mind-control

Homophobia via Freemason mind control meme:

thrussell-12-freemasons-homophobia

9/11:

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9/11, posted on September 11 2016:

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False flag meme:

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False flag meme:

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Only images from 2016 were included, otherwise there would be too many.

Thanks for reading.

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