I want to post today on the importance of Informed Consent and why it's been such a 'hot potato' causing a huge political storm in the UK. Recently 80 000 NHS workers were threatened with forced resignation unless they submitted to mandatory vaccines as a condition of employment. And although they eventually won a stay of execution (could this be a temporary or permanent abandonment of the UK government decision?) this is a worrying trend towards an unscientific and authoritarian stance which ignores the very thing that establishes a good health practice.
We have to ask the question what is Informed Consent? And why is it some staff would rather lose their jobs than be forced to have a mandatory experimental vaccine (for that is what is now being offered – the mRNA ‘vaccines are new technology that have not even completely clinical trials which most people are unaware of). We have to ask ourselves why would so many highly medically staff feel so passionately about something that everyone else seems to have accepted as justifiable and morally the ‘right thing to do’.
What is Informed Consent? The Four Principles
The principle of Informed Consent was established in the 1970s after shocking instances of organs being forcibly taken and stored from deceased children without their parent's consent (the Alder Hay Enquiry in the UK) and from forced Nazi experiments exposed in the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War. We have to understand how these atrocities come about and why we created Informed Consent to make sure it never happened again. First of all, Informed Consent is not just about asking the patient ‘are you happy to have this?’ that's not what it means. It actually has four basic principles (plus the summary) that have to be explained to the patient before any treatment or intervention is administered:
1. The Nature of the Procedure - now I would say that that's definitely being met you know this injection might make your arm sore, it's going to last less than a minute, etc - it's just a very basic understanding of what you're about to have.
2. The Risks and Benefits of the Procedure - I think the benefits have been hugely stoked - we do know that it does benefit certain risk groups: the over 50s particularly if they're overweight or obese, if they have diabetes, heart conditions and other risk factors (but clearly with Omicron variant there is less benefit than there was hence the scramble to reformulate a new vaccine). But here is emerging evidence that the vaccines make you more susceptible to future variants which is called ‘antibody dependent enhancement’ (ADE) or ‘pathogenic priming because it unnaturally provokes the second arm of the immune system the so-called ‘adaptive immunity aka antibodies. This skews the immune system away from innate immunity (largely in your gut and composed of T cells and B cells which attack all invaders not specifically a particular pathogen). Possibly obviously it's going to benefit people whose immune systems are not very healthy from getting very sick but the actual accurate benefit has not been discussed so well because we've confused relative risk and absolute risk here. Relative risk is what the pharmaceutical industry have given us as the 99% effectiveness ratio but when you look at absolute risk it is much less (around 30 – 40% or less).
So we haven't discussed the risks very well because most people don’t understand how data is presented (and some would say manipulated), and they are putting their faith in a government that doesn’t really understand either but are being guided by ‘experts’ who have an unconscious bias to present the information that both keeps theme in their jobs and fits in with what their colleagues are saying (contrary to belief, science is not an absolute aka ‘The Science’ but a process of evaluation/refinement). This then tends to be complicated by the psychology of belonging or ‘groupthink’ of the scientists and politicians involved. Something that we have seen in large measure since the beginning of the pandemic.
And there are significant side effects for a small minority of people, some people indeed have died and others have had heart inflammation, brain inflammation, hormonal irregularities - there has been considerable evidence of complications but we are being told that this cannot be tied to the vaccination (despite the fact that deaths to covid can be so attributed with a positive test within a month!) So that I don't think is being met.
3. Reasonable Alternatives: as we haven't ever discussed an alternative e.g the importance of boosting natural immunity or indeed what you can do at home to treat symptoms particularly in the first few days ie. actually killing viral particles in the nasal mucosa (lining), or alternative treatments which have been largely derided (Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine) despite long-term successful use against other viruses and a considerable body of evidence with this one.
But even if you have doubts about those treatments, people are not told what it is possible to do at home themselves to kill off the virus in its early stages before replication (e.g. saline /iodine inhalation) which makes a huge difference to the ongoing symptomology. As if you can stop the virus replicating then by implication you are going to have less serious disease!. So, if this had been allowed (alternatives have been systematically suppressed), you're actually going to reduce the risk of hospitalization hugely. So that criterion hasn't been met.
4. Risks and Benefits of Alternatives: since we haven't really discussed the alternatives I don't think you've had either the risks or the benefits of them; in fact people have often been left to get terribly sick before being admitted to hospital and then being put on ventilation which is hardly ever the right treatment. So this one for sure has not been met.
5. Assessment of the Patient's Understanding of these Elements - I don't think there's been the time in in this mass drive to inoculate to allow people to really understand and because they're not hearing alternatives either from the mass media, they're not hearing a balanced point of view. I’d say we're really failing on this hugely.
So Informed Consent isn't just a random idea; it's the whole basis of medicine and it was designed to protect patients from the kinds of experimentation we saw perhaps in less enlightened times. When we look at the history of World War II and some of the experimentation that went on and also even up until the 1970s experimentation on low-income and indigenous groups in certain countries was taking place. These people were deemed less valuable and therefore they could be taken into trials without Informed Consent! So we know how science can be corrupted and that's important to know and recognise - that science is not immune (no pun intended) to corruption as it is engaged in by humans (who are fallible).
So in summary, a lot of the people that are currently being asked to be have the vaccine mandate are people that understand this very well and have a huge degree of investment in this idea of Informed Consent. They are moral people and are not ‘selfish, illogical and stupid’, as reported in the press. Many senior people have taken a stand as it sets a dangerous precedent as if everybody has to have an intervention regardless of risk or benefit what does that say for every other intervention that the health service provides? For instance heart surgery, but not even looking at whether you need it or not or you're going to have endless drugs regardless of the benefit, it just doesn't make sense. So I am so glad that this mandate was reversed and that these people with strong value systems who are some of the most caring people in in our society who have worked so tirelessly hard through the whole of the coronavirus epidemic often in dire circumstances where they weren't always protected themselves, without the right PPE and so on.
My view is that we need a much better discussion of what's actually needed in terms of a risk benefit analysis of how to treat things like coronavirus and any other future viral mutations which are pretty inevitable as we're putting viral replication under pressure; the way we're living is certainly creating new mutations and the way we're treating this current one is most certainly driving further mutations..
So we know that we're going to have more experiences like the one we've just gone through and if we can't learn from our experience then what are we? I would like to see more discussion, more compassion in the world right now, I’d like to see less of this division between us and them, which is the basis of totalitarianism. We all have different value systems so some of us are doing things for different reasons, but as the alternative view is not being heard, informed debate (critical thinking) is impossible.. For instance I may regard the idea of having natural immunity as being sacrosanct; that the body has much more intelligence than any man-made intervention would ever have because it's biologically complete and it takes into account variation and change which unfortunately most vaccines don't, they have to be reformulated each time. That is my belief and it's one formed from years of study and clinical practice.
Unless we're going down the road that everyone is going to be vaccinated every few months which puts us in dangerous territory, then I fully support the NHS staff for making this very valid point and I would encourage all of you to think more carefully about judging others who disagree with you. We have to be more tolerant in society and understand that people are going to have different views.
Until we want and demand a better way of showing compassion in society, of treating each other with respect, of looking after ourselves and our earth and our relationship to nature - all of these things that I’ve talked about extensively over the last two years and more, I think we're just going to keep having these crises and knee-jerk reactions!
Just a final note: I have worked in medical education, and in clinical research so I have myself been trained in Informed Consent so next time you're offered something make sure you have read the Patient Information Leaflet (nobody has read one for the current vaccines because they're not there!) - Informed Consent is really essential.
 See the paper ‘ Informed consent disclosure to vaccine trial subjects of risk of COVID-19 vaccines worsening clinical disease https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33113270/  Another term for this is ‘mass formation’ – see my talk on this on my youtube channel