We are a broad and diverse group of Canadian physicians from across Canada who are sending out this urgent declaration to the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons of our various Provinces and Territories and to the Public at large, whom we serve.
On April 30, 2021, Ontario’s physician licensing body, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), issued a statement forbidding physicians from questioning or debating any or all of the official measures imposed in response to COVID-19. 1
The CPSO then went on to threaten physicians with punishment – investigations and disciplinary action.
We regard this recent statement of the CPSO to be unethical, anti-science and deeply disturbing.
As physicians, our primary duty of care is not to the CPSO or any other authority, but to our patients.
When we became physicians, we pledged to put our patients first and that our ethical and professional duty is always first toward our patients. The CPSO statement orders us to violate our duty and pledge to our patients in the following ways:
1. Denial of the Scientific Method itself: The CPSO is ordering physicians to put aside the scientific method and to not debate the processes and conclusions of science.
We physicians know and continue to believe that throughout history, opposing views, vigorous debate and openness to new ideas have been the bedrock of scientific progress. Any major advance in science has been arrived at by practitioners vigorously questioning “official” narratives and following a different path in the pursuit of truth.
2. Violation of our Pledge to use Evidence-Based Medicine for our patients: By ordering us not to debate and not to question, the CPSO is also asking us to violate our pledge to our patients that we will always seek the best, evidence-based scientific methods for them and advocate vigorously on their behalf.
The CPSO statement orders physicians for example, not to discuss or communicate with the public about “lockdown” measures. Lockdown measures are the subject of lively debate by world-renown and widely respected experts and there are widely divergent views on this subject. The explicitly anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration – https://gbdeclaration.org – was written by experts from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford Universities and more than 40,000 physicians from all over the world have signed this declaration. Several international experts including Martin Kuldorf (Harvard), David Katz (Yale), Jay Bhattacharya (Stanford) and Sunetra Gupta (Oxford) continue to strongly oppose lockdowns.
The CPSO is ordering physicians to express only pro-lockdown views, or else face investigation and discipline. This tyrannical, anti-science CPSO directive is regarded by thousands of Canadian physicians and scientists as unsupported by science and as violating the first duty of care to our patients.
3. Violation of Duty of Informed Consent: The CPSO is also ordering physicians to violate the sacred duty of informed consent – which is the process by which the patient/public is fully informed of the risks, benefits and any alternatives to the treatment or intervention, before consent is given.
The Nuremberg Code, drafted in the aftermath of the atrocities perpetrated within the Nazi concentration camps – where horrific medical experiments were performed on inmates without consent – expressly forbids the imposition of any kind of intervention without informed consent.
In the case of the lockdown intervention for example, physicians have a fiduciary duty to point out to the public that lockdowns impose their own costs on society, including in greatly increased depression and suicide rates, delayed investigation and treatment of cancer (including delayed surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy), ballooning surgical waiting lists (with attendant greatly increased patient suffering) and increased rates of child and domestic abuse.
We physicians believe that with the CPSO statement of 30 April 2021, a watershed moment in the assault on free speech and scientific inquiry has been reached.
By ordering physicians to be silent and follow only one narrative, or else face discipline and censure, the CPSO is asking us to violate our conscience, our professional ethics, the Nuremberg code and the scientific pursuit of truth.
We will never comply and will always put our patients first.
The CPSO must immediately withdraw and rescind its statement of 30 April 2021.
We also give notice to other Canadian and international licensing authorities for physicians and allied professions that the stifling of scientific inquiry and any order to violate our conscience and professional pledge to our patients, itself may constitute a crime against humanity.
1 College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Statement on Public Health Misinformation (4/30/21). https://twitter.com/cpso_ca/status/1388211577770348544
The College is aware and concerned about the increase of misinformation circulating on social media and other platforms regarding physicians who are publicly contradicting public health orders and recommendations. Physicians hold a unique position of trust with the public and have a professional responsibility to not communicate anti-vaccine, anti-masking, anti-distancing and anti-lockdown statements and/or promoting unsupported, unproven treatments for COVID-19. Physicians must not make comments or provide advice that encourages the public to act contrary to public health orders and recommendations. Physicians who put the public at risk may face an investigation by the CPSO and disciplinary action, when warranted. When offering opinions, physicians must be guided by the law, regulatory standards, and the code of ethics and professional conduct. The information shared must not be misleading or deceptive and must be supported by available evidence and science.