The one good thing about the Pandemic is that its given rise to some good cartoons – more on the side of the Resistance I think but am open to being persuaded if anyone wants to send me Clever Cartoons from the Empire’s side. I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone’s sensibilities – it should be read as an amusement.
The next section is most of an article that appeared in BMJ on Xmas Eve. A few repetitions have been snipped out. The name hasn’t been – it was anonymous. I don’t usually respond to anything but did this time.
Oh Morally Injured Me
I am a consultant anaesthetist. I work in a busy district general hospital… In my career I have treated hundreds of patients who are in hospital because of choices they have made: smokers, skiers injured on the slopes, along with patients who have inserted various objects into orifices not intended for the purpose… I understand it is their right to choose, and while I may not agree with their choices, my job is to treat them with compassion, but not judgement. I have never found that difficult.
Until now. I am struggling to understand why patients decide not to get the covid vaccine. I see patient after patient on the labour ward, in emergency theatre, and in intensive care who have chosen not to have the vaccine. The reasons vary—from worry about long term effects, through fertility, to inaccurate ideas about microchips and government surveillance.
Almost exclusively those needing intensive care or dying with covid are young, healthy, and unvaccinated. Only a tiny proportion are vaccinated vulnerable patients with other underlying health conditions, or are partially vaccinated. This despite scientific research and real-world evidence showing that vaccination works. Vaccination offers us the sole opportunity to avoid further lockdowns and lead relatively normal lives. I find these self-destructive decisions incomprehensible.
There is also the question of free riding. The unvaccinated enjoy the benefits—social freedoms and much reduced risk of covid infection—because the majority of adults, and now adolescents, choose to take the vaccine.
A small number who get sick need our care. Some need to come to intensive care, or have their babies delivered early as they are too sick to remain pregnant. They require huge resources—the average stay in intensive care is two weeks, many stay for months, and some do not survive. The impacts on healthcare professionals include ongoing risks of being infected. Most frontline healthcare professionals had covid before the vaccines were available due to exposure at work. At best we got sick, at worst some of us died, and sadly, continue to die. Healthcare workers carry the emotional impact of caring for, and sometimes losing, young, previously healthy individuals who are critically unwell from covid, when this could have been avoided if they had had the vaccine. The physical and mental challenge of caring for these patients is huge: the numbers are still large enough to affect the care we want to give to non-covid patients. We cannot always proceed with elective surgery, or get an intensive care bed for an emergency patient who needs it for non-covid reasons.
We are tired. We are working at greater capacity than ever before and have been for nearly two years. I worry that this sustained pressure will break us. We will make mistakes… It’s already happening. At present rate, we will never be able to clear the backlog… The waits will get longer, the service will at times fall short of the high standards we take for granted. For the first time in my professional life, I am angry with my patients who choose not to get vaccinated, and while I do not let it affect my patient care, I think it’s affecting me.
I do not believe in forcing people to get the vaccine, and I feel uncomfortable that it is happening in the NHS. But equally, I am just so disappointed that so many people continue to choose not to take the vaccine. I can’t understand it. Unlike the patients needing our care due to the ordinary choices they have made, choosing not to get vaccinated is different. It doesn’t just affect the individual, it affects us all.
Reason to Hesitate
Those advocating vaccines and mandates appeal to science, primarily RCTs that supposedly offer gold standard evidence.
The vaccine RCTs were run by Contract Research Organizations, who subcontracted to other CROs, who subcontracted to other CROs. We know that paperwork in CRO centres was fudged, and people who were injured and died went missing (1). We also know the regulators have not seen and do not have access to the raw data from these trials.(2) Nor do the public health, government ministers and others who advocate mandates.
We know that the trials were ghostwritten, and even though dead patients went missing, likely preferentially among those taking the vaccine, we know that there was a clear excess of trial volunteers dying on the Pfizer vaccine than on placebo.(3)
The supposed miraculous benefits we have heard about centre on fewer infections. There may have been just the same number of infections with the injections damping symptoms, making the vaccinated more likely to spread the virus and kill vulnerable others. We simply don’t know if this was the case.
Is it possible MHRA or FDA would approve a treatment that didn’t work? The answer is yes. If they knew it didn’t work, would they tolerate articles in prestigious journals claiming it did work. The answer is yes – MHRA and FDA have a track record here that they cannot escape (4).
We are told the real-world evidence shows that it is the unvaccinated who are dying in hospitals. This apparent mismatch with the trial evidence needs to be reconciled. The onus though is on those advocating mandates who claim RCTs offer the gold-standard evidence to engage with the issue. CDC and MHRA have also had several-fold more reports of deaths immediately after vaccination in one year from Covid vaccines than from all other vaccines combined over a decade.(5) These too need taking into account.
I hesitate hoping you will listen to my reasons and help reduce the number of deaths stemming from the pandemic of overtreatment we have. Life Expectancy was falling pre Covid in the US and UK almost certainly because of an across the board trial data sequestration and ghost writing of trials, which allows a hyping of treatment benefits and a hiding of harms – and overtreatment as a result (6).
In the name of science, whose norms require data access, we should refuse all treatments until companies make all data fully accessible, allowing us to work out a policy that makes most sense.
Lots of medical advocates for mandates talk in terms of moral injury. I see lots of patients seriously injured by the vaccines and families of people who have died. They are gaslighted, told they have mental health problems, and face a wall of anger if they ask about a possible vaccine input.
Although I risk being struck off for mentioning these things, this response is not anonymous
- Thacker P. Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial. BMJ 2021;375:n2635
- Healy D, Le Noury J, Wood J. Children of the Cure. Samizdat Press, Toronto 2020.
- Naik R. Summary Basis for Regulatory Action. November 8, 2021 https://www.fda.gov/media/151733/download
- Healy. Did regulators fail over selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. BMJ 2006, 333, 92-95.
- Center for Disease Control: https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html;Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency: www.gov.uk/mhra
- Healy D. Shipwreck of the Singular. Healthcare’s Castaways. Samizdat Press, Toronto 2021.
Competing interests: I have a pre-vaccine rollout position on these issues, with which in August 2020 most healthcare staff would likely have agreed. Johnson RM, Doshi P, Healy D (2020). Covid-19: Should doctors recommend treatments and vaccines when full data are not publicly available? BMJ 2020;370:m3260
Noam, Adolph and Jorge
This was all happening around Xmas Day and the days after.
Jorge Bergoglio, the Bishop of Rome, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury were all busy telling the world that they knew Jesus would have been vaccinated.
They must have forgotten that Jesus was an Orthodox Jew and this is the one establishment group that have come out against vaccines.
Hitler was also according to Charlie Hebdo an anti-vaxxer but an anti-vaxxer who would have been anti today’s antivaxxers. Charlie must have the same wonderful gift of being able to know things the rest of us don’t know that J and J have.
Noam Chomsky then waded into this mix declaring that people who are anti-vaxx should be compulsorily held down and jabbed or exiled. The difficulty in finding somewhere to exile them to is that Noam figured there is nowhere in the universe that would tolerate being anti-vaxx – except maybe some Red States in the US.
(Recent figures suggest there is a flight of people and capital from Blue States to Red – so maybe no one will have to actively exile anyone. The question is who will pay for the Wall).
We are truly in strange, I am the Alpha and the Omega, times, when Noam, Adolph and Jorge are all on the same side.
Just out since this post was published, it looks like we have a Morally Injured Macron, who it seems want to emmerder les non-vaccines – which google translates as – wants to piss on the unvaccinated.
Everyday brings new wonders. Who a year ago would have thought we’d have a French president speaking like this. Its quite extraordinary
January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany – and for Coptic Christians and others more important than Christmas. When the Wise Men arrived.
In response to the call for cartoons. Irene Mazis sent me a message about Aislin’s Book of Covid Cartoons. This is more about 2020 than 2021 but does contain one image that is spot on for this day.