No less than the peak doctors' body, the Australian Medical Association, is now calling for the Medical Board's proposed doctor gag to be dropped. It seems that our highlighting of Dr van Gend's case - and his incredible courage in the face of extreme professional pressure - is working.
AMA push back on Medical Board’s doctor gag welcome
The Conservative Party has welcomed a last-minute push from the Australian Medical Association to ensure doctors do not lose freedom of speech rights under the Medical Board’s proposed new code of conduct.
The AMA’s move comes as Toowoomba Doctor David van Gend (pictured) remains under investigation by the board’s policing arm, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, for expressing views on social media about the ethics of teaching children that their gender is fluid.
Conservative Party Queensland Senate candidate Lyle Shelton welcomed the AMA’s warning that the Medical Board’s new draft code “could be seen as trying to control what doctors say in the public arena by stifling doctors’ right to publicly express both personal and professional opinions, while also undermining doctors’ contribution to the diversity of public opinion, debate, and discourse”.
“Doctors must be free to engage in contentious political debates and it is good to see the AMA recognising this in the face of the board’s move to gag them,” Mr Shelton said.
Dr van Gend is under investigation for retweeting two tweets of Mr Shelton’s.
One was a selfie of Mr Shelton and Heritage Foundation scholar Dr Ryan Anderson, the author of How Harry became Sally – responding to the transgender moment.
The second tweet was a link to a Sunday Telegraph article by journalist Miranda Devine exposing the link between same-sex marriage and teaching children that gender is fluid.
“It is outrageous that a doctor is being investigated for this,” Mr Shelton said.
“To give the board even more power through the proposed revised code of conduct would only embolden the Board’s anti-free speech disposition. It is disappointing that this is happening under the watch of a Coalition Government and that the Health Minister has not sought to reign in the Medical Board,” Mr Shelton said.
Public submissions to the Medical Board have been extended until August 17.
Media contact: Lyle Shelton firstname.lastname@example.org