Canadian doctors are facing professional repercussions for sharing their concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, specifically their emergency use authorization status and safety for children.
The University of Saskatchewan removed Francis Christian, a clinical professor of surgery, from his faculty and administrative responsibilities days after he hosted a press conference about “the risks of mRNA vaccines to children” and alternatives to vaccination, including use of the drug ivermectin.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority also said it was terminating Christian’s contract Sept. 21, after the required 90-day notice, for his “conspiracy theories” on COVID-19 vaccines.
He is not “committed to fact-based, scientifically driven public messaging,” the provincial agency told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Christian endangers lives by “potentially discouraging uptake on life-saving vaccines.”
Christian opened the June 17 press conference with an explicit disclaimer that he was not representing the university or the provincial agency, and emphasized he was “very pro-vaccine” in general.
“The principle of informed consent is being consistently violated in this province for the mRNA vaccine for our kids,” for whom there is no “emergency” justifying experimental COVID-19 vaccines, he said. “I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”
Christian said nearly 6,000 deaths have been associated with mRNA vaccines in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Echoing arguments by other medical experts, he said such associations “in any other drug or vaccine … would have been sufficient to stop the whole program” to allow for reevaluation.
“Tomorrow the CDC is meeting in emergency session to discuss this issue” of heightened risk for myocarditis among young COVID-19 vaccine recipients, he said, and “there is a good likelihood that they too will call for a pause in vaccinating our kids.” The U.S. FDA added heart-inflammation warnings to two vaccines several days later.
The university said it’s jointly investigating Christian’s “recent actions and public statements” with the agency, and that he’s still being paid for his duties while on leave. While it “encourages public debate of important societal issues … our medical faculty are subject to the ethical and professional standards governing the practice of medicine.”
A joint letter from the university’s College of Medicine and the health authority, dated June 21, cited allegations that Christian was “engaging in activities designed to discourage and prevent children and adolescents from receiving Covid-19 vaccination contrary to the recommendations and pandemic-response efforts of Saskatchewan and Canadian public health authorities,” according to his lawyers at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).
Christian recorded a meeting with College of Medicine and agency officials. They interrupted him as he tried to ask questions about the sanctions against him, which were disclosed to him for the first time in the meeting.
“Our office is preparing litigation materials,” JCCF litigation director Jay Cameron told Just the News Tuesday, declining to provide a further update on Christian’s case. He didn’t answer a request for a copy of the June 21 letter.
University spokesperson Victoria Dinh told Just the News she couldn’t comment beyond the school’s original statement and did not answer a followup question about how long Christian is likely to remain under investigation before preliminary findings are reached. The agency didn’t answer whether vaccinating children — an age group at low risk for COVID-19 — is unworthy of scientific debate.
Another JCCF client was removed from his position as head of emergency medicine for the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s eastern zone days after he spoke on a CBC radio show last month, the Cape Breton Post reported.
ER doctor Chris Milburn said he’s vaccinated but emphasized that COVID-19 vaccines were still “experimental” and “we have no idea if we’re going to see a bunch of weird autoimmune disorders from this vaccine” over the long term. He also said the province had no scientific basis to shut down schools and questioned the amount of authority given to Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer, Robert Strang.
In response to the removal, about 3,000 people as of Tuesday have signed an online petition to replace Strang with Milburn.
The ER doctor told Canadian newspaper chain Saltwire last week he was fired over the phone “because of my views” and has yet to receive a written termination notice as requested. He served on the Canadian Medical Association’s public health committee for several years and chaired Doctors Nova Scotia’s public health committee the past two years.
Milburn’s contract with the province requires six months’ notice for termination without cause, JCCF lawyer Lisa Bildy told Just the News. “He has publicly asked for the reasons to be provided, but so far there has been no response,” she said Tuesday.
While Milburn’s medical practice hasn’t been affected, a local activist is soliciting complaints to be filed against him with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS), “so further consequences for commenting publicly about matters of reasonable debate, such as school closures and mandatory vaccines, may still ensue,” Bildy wrote in an email.
This is Milburn’s second brush with cancelation for his comments on the intersection of medicine and public policy.
CPSNS investigated him last year following several complaints about his newspaper column criticizing the conviction of police officers for criminal negligence involving a drunk man who died in custody. Such prosecutions ignore the danger to ER staff from “the criminal element,” who must receive “medical clearance” before they are booked, he wrote.
The investigation cleared Milburn, who was represented by JCCF. The professional regulator, which has the power to suspend medical licenses, recognized a “role for public discourse that may involve criticism of the healthcare system” and said his comments did not amount to “conduct unbecoming a physician.”
Bildy told Just the News that “social justice activists” initiated that investigation, showing “how vulnerable professional regulatory bodies are to being weaponized for the punishment of dissenters” like Milburn.