COVID 19 vaccines and informed consent: No Means No!

Last week I argued in my speech that no one can give informed consent to vaccines in the province of Ontario, since on May 20, Doug Ford tied reopening the province with vaccinations rates. This has meant that everyone is being coerced by Ontario’s most powerful authority figure, that every Ontario MD is aware of this coercion, and therefore they only can vaccinate people by violating the Health Care Consent Act of Ontario.

My conclusion seems self-evident from a reading of Ontario and Canadian laws and international codes of bioethical codes (Nuremberg Code, UNESCO’s Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights, etc.). Informed consent must be freely given or it is not consent at all, and MDs who do not obtain proper consent would be breaking the law. But in popular sentiment many stand against me, especially in our neighbourhood as I have seen it expressed on social media. There is resistance to this understanding of informed consent. Here are some of the arguments that some of our own neighbors have expressed:

  • Informed consent is (only) about the relationship between a doctor and patient. Thus, if the government, an employer or a school is applying the pressure, it isn’t an improperly obtained informed consent. This argument is clearly belied by the language of informed consent as expressed in the law codes, codes of ethics, and codes of professional conduct. For example the CPSO states that if a physician believes that the patient is under duress or that coercion is involved, then informed consent is not obtained. Nowhere in any of these important laws and codes does it limit coercion to what the MD applies to the patient. Indeed, the general language suggests that if the MD believes coercion or duress comes from any source, he or she has failed to obtain informed consent and must not continue with the treatment.
  • Informed consent may happen but there may also be “consequences”. Consequences like limited access to amenities, inability to exercise mobility rights, loss of jobs or places in schools are perfectly acceptable because you still have informed consent. This so transparently euphemistic that it hardly requires refutation, but let me try. You can’t soften the blow of coercion in this manner by calling coercion “consequences”. Throughout history minority groups have suffered consequences: e.g., the requirement to be a member of pagan guild to practice a profession which early Christians could not join because of the guild’s practice of idolatry—if you don’t join the guild, then the consequence was that you could not practice that profession. Or Jews and Christians in Muslim countries that had to convert to Islam in order to get a government job. The technical term for this kind of free choice is a Hobson’s Choice, a take it or leave it choice. But no third option is permitted. In that case, the Hobson’s choice is not freely given because the person wants to keep their job, or their place in a school, or their right to leave the house or to travel freely.
  • It’s not really coercion if it is not violent force. There’s no gun to the head of the patient who gets the vaccine and so it is a free choice. This is an argument which has no basis in law. So for example an employer could sexually harass an employee and that could be deemed sexual assault because of the lack of consent due to coercion—the employee could still claim that an assault occurred even if it appeared to be a consensual act. Coercion doesn’t have to imply violent force. On the other hand, if you do get fired or expelled from your school because of not receiving a vaccine, or if you aren’t allowed to enter a venue, believe me when I say that eventually violent force will be used. They will call the police with their guns and they will come and remove you by force if you do not leave of your own volition. People seem to think that because of large levels of compliance that there is no threat of force, but in fact, the threat of violent force is the method that governments use to make sure the public complies, and I don’t see how that will be any different with vaccine mandates.
  •  Informed consent applies to other people’s need to know your vaccine status and thus be able to avoid them. This is a far-fetched application of informed consent that has nothing whatsoever to do with the laws and codes of ethics. It would clearly violate privacy rights, but it is an argument that you may see on social media. And the health authorities seem to buttress this view with their praise of companies like Toronto Strip Clubs that are requiring vaccines from their staff and clients. It is similar to yellow stars given to Jewish people during Nazi Germany—so that others would know to avoid Jews and to strip them of their rights to enter places or to receive services. There is little difference. It’s just that in this case, it’s people who exercise their right to informed consent who are being persecuted.

Nicohalas Wansbutter, barrister in Stratford, Ontario, made a recent video in which  he says that assault is any application of force without consent. He says that consent is related to the right over your own person. Hence, assault is when another touches you without consent.

Informed consent thus has two parts. (1) Receiving adequate information before receiving a treatment; (2) giving consent to the physician or other health specialist to perform the treatment, preventative, or diagnostic. If there is a hand on element, such as touching, stabbing, piercing, etc, and there is no consent, it is arguably a form of assault (cf. Nicholas Wansbutter).

The legal meaning of consent is discussed by the Supreme Court of Canada. Here is passage that Wansbutter cites:

The rationale underlying the criminalization of assault explains this. Society is committed to protecting the personal integrity, both physical and psychological, of every individual. Having control over who touches one’s body, and how, lies at the core of human dignity and autonomy.  The inclusion of assault and sexual assault in the Code expresses society’s determination to protect the security of the person from any non-consensual contact or threats of force.  The common law has recognized for centuries that the individual’s right to physical integrity is a fundamental principle, “every man’s person being sacred, and no other having a right to meddle with it, in any the slightest manner”:  see Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (4th ed. 1770), Book III, at p. 120.  It follows that any intentional but unwanted touching is criminal.

Wansbutter cites the Supreme Court as saying further:

To be legally effective, consent must be freely given.  Therefore, even if the complainant consented, or her conduct raises a reasonable doubt about her non-consent, circumstances may arise which call into question what factors prompted her apparent consent.  The Code defines a series of conditions under which the law will deem an absence of consent in cases of assault, notwithstanding the complainant’s ostensible consent or participation.  As enumerated in s. 265(3) , these include submission by reason of force, fear, threats, fraud or the exercise of authority, and codify the longstanding common law rule that consent given under fear or duress is ineffective:  see G. Williams, Textbook of Criminal Law (2nd ed. 1983), at pp. 551-61.    This section reads as follows:

(3)  For the purposes of this section, no consent is obtained where the complainant submits or does not resist by reason of

(a) the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;

 (b) threats or fear of the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;

 (c) fraud; or

 (d) the exercise of authority.

I have to admit that it is gratifying to me to see a person trained in law in Ontario saying the same thing as I am, a lay reader of the law. The citations of the Supreme Court of Canada decisions are very useful for showing that informed consent doesn’t exist where vaccine passports have been put in place. We want to uphold the basic human rights that are a part of common law in the English speaking world for centuries. But in our times, we are in danger of losing those rights.

[This speech was delivered at the corner of Bathurst and Rutherford on August 1, 2021, at the Vaughan anti-lockdown protest]

Why PhDs Dissent on COVID 19

By Peter W. Dunn, PhD

We are protesting what the government is doing to us: Lockdowns, masks, school closures, business closures, and now more than ever, vaccine mandates that violate informed consent laws. But we face opposition from the media, from political leaders, from unelected health officials and from our neighbors, friends, and families.

We are the dissenters. We disagree with the official COVID narrative. For this disagreement, we get called yahoos, idiots or lunatics; some even calls us winners of the Darwin awards because, in their view, we are so dumb that evolution will select us for extermination before we can even pass on our stupid genes. This is form of hate speech. But I find invariably that people who make these sorts of claims have far less academic qualifications than I do. Now we find that my anecdotal observation of lower level of education of those promoting such hate speech against dissenters is actual verified by a study in the USA that shows that the group most likely to be hesitant about COVID 19 vaccines are PhDs. It must frustrate the gaslighters to find out that many vaccine hesitant people are far better educated than they are.

It is not as though all PhDs are vaccine hesitant. Indeed, the majority are not. It’s only that there is a higher percentage of PhDs that are hesitant than in other levels of education. The study from Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh University, based on a sample size of 5 million people, showed that you are more than twice as likely to be vaccine hesitant if you have a PhD at 24%, than if you have a bachelor’s (11%), a master’s (8%!) or a professional certification (12%).

from: https://unherd.com/thepost/the-most-vaccine-hesitant-education-group-of-all-phds/?fbclid=IwAR0Y9yWQT6Suw0U3QH2jo_qlLI3OnnoDPdwJounT40kZ1QXxPj9sIquULcw

As someone with a PhD I can comment on some of the reasons for this. First of all, if 76% of people with PhDs are not vaccine hesitant, the reason is likely because most academics focus narrowly on their own specialty and don’t really have the time to study popular subjects to that same level. I know lots of scholars like that. But I would like to comment mainly on why PhDs might be hesitant at a higher rate than people with less education.

I also want to comment on what is the international standard to obtain a PhD degree—it is the requirement of making via research a non-negligible contribution to the existing body of knowledge. Normally to succeed in a PhD also requires erudition in one’s narrow scope of study—no stone must be left unturned—the PhD must normally be aware of all the relevant research on the subject, well at least in English language, and often in other languages, such as French and German. But it doesn’t suffice to take into account the research of others, one has to also make an original contribution to knowledge. So this means that a person with a PhD is ideally the quintessential researcher and independent thinker.

That said, I would like to suggest several possible reasons why people with PhDs are more likely to be hesitant. Here are some of what I’ve observed:

  • PhDs may have respect for the craft of academics. And this means that we are not going to dismiss out of hand when other people with PhDs have made arguments against the official COVID 19 narrative. We consider their statements as significant and do not lightly dismiss them as quacks or crazies. Scholars with established reputations in the fields of epidemiology, computer modelling, vaccinology, immunology, and psychology have warned against COVID 19 orthodoxy, and we are much more likely to be as interested in what they have to say than what non-scholars such as Anthony Fauci or Theresa Tam say. Both of those people have MD degrees and have spent much of their careers in administration. Neither are scholars or experts. But people like Byram Bridle, Michael Yeadon, Luc Montagnier, Geert vanden Bossche, Beda Stadler, and the signatories of Great Barrington Declaration—such people carry weight in the eyes of PhDs because we have respect for the craft. A journalist or tv announcer or even a government public health official have not so much weight, because normally such officials can’t hold a candle to the heavyweights in their respective fields. As for government health officials like Fauci or Tam, they are examples of the Peter Principle, that people get promoted until they reach a position for which they are incompetent; they are maybe good at following rules and that gets them promoted to their position of authority; but they are not good at making rules.
  •  PhDs may be interdisciplinary. I find that the really bright intellectuals that read well beyond their own field are interdisciplinary and thus able to see the bigger picture. They don’t look at things only from the narrow perspective of their own field, as did the public health officials who lockdowned the entire world because of fear of a contagion. They didn’t even take into account the mental health effects that this pandemic would have. They didn’t take into account the lack of historical precedent; the economic fallout, the legal ramifications, the human rights and bioethics abuses. I personally have time and I like to read on other issues like health, economics, history and law. Also, I’ve had to be interdisciplinary to be able to handle the problems that life has thrown at me such as unemployment, disappointment, persecution by government, and health problems. Some of my PhD friends that are in complete agreement with the pandemic narrative are not doing any significant study outside of their field.
  • PhDs may pay more attention to academic publications than to news media articles. We deal everyday with the quality of sources, and we correct our students if their sources are of poor quality. My experience with speaking with reporters is that they are talking to me because I know far more about the subject than they do. So I normally have given a primer on the subject, so that they can have a grasp of it. Thus, I do not have much confidence in the authority of news articles. I read them mainly to have a sense of today’s happenings and never to formulate my opinion on a subject.
  • PhDs may have better math skills. It may not be that they are able to do higher mathematics, but what helps is if having a sense of scale. If 9418 people have died of COVID 19 in the province of Ontario (according to official stats), then that seems like a big number, yet it’s only .06% of the whole population or about 1 out of 1,500. Furthermore, most of these people were either living in long term care homes (i.e., end of life facilities) or were very advanced in age. COVID 19 is not something that is a significant threat to people under age 60, and zero risk to children.
  • PhDs may have a sense of history. When it comes to history, we may be aware that no one has ever chosen to lockdown a society to deal with a seasonal illness. COVID 19 is a bad cold for some people and it is seasonal in its impact. We also know that bioethics exist because of the violations of them in the past, such as Nuremberg Code which exists because of experimentation done on prisoners in Nazi internment camps.
  • PhDs may have a grasp of the importance of laws and rights codes that impact the decision making of authorities. There are many laws in Canada that contradict what is happening. For example, the Healthcare Consent Act of Ontario contradicts vaccine mandates. Also contradicted are the Nuremberg code and other bioethical codes, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights, and the list goes on. When someone tells me that I don’t understand human rights, my studying to the level of PhD is a help, because I know that these codes are perspicuous—they are in clear language and intended to be understood by people with an average education.
  • PhDs may know propaganda when they see it. We are supposed to be trained in seeing manipulation techniques like gaslighting, bullying and demagoguery. Since the beginning of the “pandemic” these techniques are almost all that one sees in the mainstream media. But on social media, that gets translated into an everyday onslaught against anyone who dissents. Logical and rhetorical fallacies are commonplace: E.g., straw man arguments, begging the question (e.g., invocation of conspiracy theories or “misinformation”), and ad hominem (guilt by association, poisoning the well, name calling).
  • PhDs may resist intimidation better than other people. I have to admit that gaslighters and other detractors of my positions have virtually no effect on me. It is indeed a bit comical for me to see people do this. Doing an earned research degree from an internationally esteemed university has given me confidence in myself and my ability to do research and to come to reasonable conclusions. When people abuse me I instantly recognize the inferiority of their arguments and their lack of skill and knowledge.
  • PhDs may also be victims. Nothing has motivated me to research health subjects than dealing with my own problems that are caused by fluoroquinolone drugs (Cipro), which has rendered me in many respects a handicapped person with serious limitations. I have had to research health to try to restore my own health. I researched constitutional law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the international rights codes, in order to fight the persecution I experienced during the Obama administration. Necessity has forced me to research subjects outside of my own field to be able sort through my own issues. And this is the case with some other people who have PhDs that I know. They or a loved one may also have issues with vaccines or some other medical treatment. They too are victims.

If you don’t have a PhD and you are dissenter, I want to encourage you that you have many very well-trained academics on your side. If you oppose anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and anti-lockdown protestors, then I encourage you to rethink you position. Many very smart people with high level academic training are taking such positions.

(This speech was presented at the Vaughan anti-lockdown protest, at Bathurst and Rutherford, Sunday, August 15, 2021)

Anti-Vaxxer Myths are Hate Speech

By Dr. Peter W. Dunn, PhD

COVID 19 propaganda has led to a level of hatred and prejudice that is unprecedented in my lifetime. That is hardly surprising since the real message of COVID 19 protocols is loneliness, alienation, and fear. People think that the message is, “My mask protects you, your mask protects me.” But the real message is “My mask projects my hatred and fear of you, your mask projects your hatred and fear of me.” It’s the universal destruction of community that I call the New Xenophobia. But no one receives more disgust than the so-called “anti-vaxxers”.

But when you ask people who the anti-vaxxers are, they may say the unvaccinated. In the province of Ontario, children under 12 are all unvaccinated from COVID 19—are they and their parents anti-vaxxers? Well, no they aren’t since they haven’t been given the opportunity for the vaccine yet, but soon. I asked also if people with medical exemptions are anti-vaxxers and some haters would exclude them, because they have a “legitimate” reason not to get the vaccine. But when I point out that anyone who declines the vaccine has a legitimate reason, the argument is lost on them. Legitimate suggests lawful, and in Ontario it is your lawful right to decline any medical treatment, preventative, or diagnostic. Thus, everyone who declines a vaccine has a legitimate reason.

Etymologically anti-vaxxer comes from two words, “anti-” and “vaccine”, which would thus lead to the conclusion that the person opposes vaccines, and indeed that is the main definition of the term. But the term has no nuance in the mouth of fearful haters. A pediatrician who vaccinates children in his clinic, like Dr. Paul Thomas of the Vaccine Friendly Plan, will be called an anti-vaxxer because he disagrees with the hyper-vaccine schedule of the CDC. But he’s had much better results with his children–for example, fewer children under his plan end up with autism (see image). There are also many MDs who have vaccinated children and adults in their clinics for years, but have deep reservations about the way the COVID 19 vaccines have been brought to market, or who have seen side effects that would cause them to balk—these MDs are also getting labelled “anti-vaxxers”.

It is therefore much more subtle and precise to refer to people as vaccine hesitant. They hesitate regarding one or all vaccines; or they hesitate about getting it for themselves and their children—they may be worried about you and your children, but they aren’t actively trying to stand in your way of getting a vaccine. But to label every level of vaccine hesitant people as anti-vaxxers is hate rhetoric. It corresponds neither with reality nor with neighborliness, and that means the rhetoric will necessarily lead to human rights abuses and crimes against humanity, if it continues unabated. Anti-vaxxer rhetoric is a hate crime; it is demagoguery because governments and the mainstream news often are blaming the vaccine hesitant for killing people with COVID 19, when the fault lies elsewhere. This anti-vaxx hate speech is an expression of the worst tendencies in humanity and is similar to the racism and other forms of hate which have lead to historical crimes against humanity.

In this speech, I’d like to deal with myths about anti-vaxxers, as the term is used by the haters.

  • Anti-vaxxers are anti-vaxx. A I have pointed out, this is incorrect because there is a spectrum of vaccine hesitancy. I’ve seen people and health care workers who oppose COVID 19 but not opposed to other better-tested vaccines. I’ve seen some who are vaccine injured who oppose all vaccines for themselves but won’t stand in the way of you getting one. I’ve also seen people who think that all vaccines are inherently dangerous but are still not trying to prevent others from getting vaccines. What all vaccine hesitant people want is vaccine choice—and that is their right in Ontario under laws that protect informed consent.
  • Anti-vaxxers are stupid or crazy. My experience shows that the vaccine hesitant  are hardly stupid. They are forced to do their research because they have taken a very unpopular position. It is wrong to say that they have cognitive bias—let’s reserve that for those who are on the payroll of big vaccine companies whose bias is evidently geared towards making big profits. Financial incentive is a big reason for cognitive bias. I have  PhD in an unrelated field—but I am trained and quite capable in research. Some of my other vaccine hesitant facebook friends have PhDs in related fields. These are not stupid people. Calling the vaccine hesitant “stupid” or “crazy” is just simply a case of pure prejudice and it is very dangerous rhetoric which can lead to violence. It must stop.
  • Anti-vaxxers will win the Darwin awards. The idea is that less intelligent people will die early deaths because they do stupid things. But this is a misuse of the doctrine of evolution. The Survival of the Fittest would suggest perhaps that the vaccinated are even arguably the weaker people because they need a immune crutch to survive COVID 19; while the vaccine hesitant are happy in many cases to depend on their innate immunity to protect them from COVID 19 and any other viral threat to their health. I would argue that the doctrines of Darwin works in precisely the opposite way that these people contend.
  • The anti-vaxxers are now 90% of “cases” or “hospitalizations”.  The problem with this notion is that there are now fully vaccinated people in heavily vaccinated countries that are dying or hospitalized with COVID 19. These include countries like Iceland, Israel, and Seychelles are experiencing “waves” despite the high vaccination rate. Sure in Ontario, it could be for the moment that most of the hospitalizations are of people not yet fully vaccinated. I’ve seen it reported as 90% sick people are unvaccinated. But even if that is the case, the number of total hospitalizations is so small that it presents a risk of about 1 in 40,000 or .003%! Saying that 90% of cases are unvaccinated is an example of lying with statistics by using relative risk instead of absolute risk. Your relative risk of hospitalization with COVID 19 as an unvaccinated person is 90%, a big number. But your absolute risk is less than .003%, a very small number.
  • Anti-vaxxers are causing Delta and other variants. This view is refuted by none other than some of the top virologists in the world, such as Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier and Geert vanden Bossche. Vaccine resistant strains of viruses are made in people that have had the vaccine, not in those who haven’t had them. From an evolutionary point of view it is comparable to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria that are bred in the bodies of those people and animals who have had the antibiotic, not in those who have never taken them.
  • Anti-vaxxers are evil people, essentially murderers. With not even the slightest proof the mainstream media has again and again accused anti-vaxxers of being the reason for new waves and cases. But on the other side of their mouths, they have warned that vaccinated people can both contract and pass on the coronavirus. Thus, to blame the unvaccinated and thus “anti-vaxxers” for the deaths is pure demagoguery and it is dangerous rhetoric that will lead to violence against innocent people. Furthermore, they undermine their own argument for getting the vaccine. Why get a vaccine if the unvaccinated are going to kill you anyways? Doesn’t your vaccine save you? Then what are you worried about?

Here then are six myths about anti-vaxxers that are a dangerous form of hate rhetoric. These myths are unscientific rubbish but will likely lead to serious crimes against humanity by people driven by fear and hatred. Many people in the media, government, and even neighbors on social media are treating the vaccine hesitant as less than human; it is always dehumanizing to be subject to this kind of hate. It needs to stop, but I have no idea how to stop it except to call it what it is: A HATE CRIME.

(This speech was delivered at Bathurst and Rutherford Roads on August 8, 2021, at the Vaughan anti-lockdown protest).