Lytton doctor investigated for causing ‘vaccine hesitation’ | iINFOnews
08 October 2021 – 7:30 a.m.
A Lytton doctor has had emergency room privileges revoked and is being investigated by health officials for encouraging “vaccine reluctance” among patients and the community at large.
Dr Charles Hoffe’s actions and fate were revealed by his lawyer, Michael Alexander, senior constitutional litigator with the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms in Calgary, the same organization that sued the BC government over the law. churches to organize services during the covid pandemic19.
Interior Health suspended Dr. Hoffe’s emergency room privileges on April 29 and he faces a meeting with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia investigating his actions, Alexander told iINFOnews.ca . This is tentatively expected to happen on November 3.
“We cannot speak to human resource issues related to physicians or staff under BC privacy legislation,” Interior Health wrote in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “We can confirm that Dr. Hoffe is no longer supporting Interior Health emergency services at St. Bartholomew’s Health Center in Lytton, BC.
Alexander also represents three other physicians in similar situations across Canada and assists in a number of other cases. He does not know of any other doctor in British Columbia who has been sanctioned for similar actions.
“The people I work with across the country, both formally and informally, face a basic problem, which is that they try to report adverse reactions from vaccines and to public health officials and government officials don’t want to hear about it, ”Alexander said. “In fact, these people are being punished because they want to report these adverse events and the system does not want to hear about it. In fact, he is trying to punish them for encouraging what is known as the crime of vaccine hesitation. ”
Dr Hoffe was trained in South Africa, arrived in Canada in 1990, and has practiced medicine in Lytton for 28 years as a family physician and the community’s leading emergency physician, according to a detailed press release on the website. of the Justice Center.
In January, he began administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and immediately began reporting side effects far beyond what other doctors have reported across the country and around the world.
“He tried to log it,” Alexander said. “He has not received any response indicating that his concerns have been taken seriously.”
READ MORE: British Columbia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Card System A Good First Step, Medical Group Says
But the doctor went beyond just reporting the side effects to Interior Health. Alexander said he wrote a letter to his colleagues suggesting there was “clear evidence of harm and asked them if they should suspend their own vaccine rollout to investigate the risk of injury.”
This letter was sent to Interior Health, which accused it of causing hesitation in vaccination, the statement said.
He was told to direct any questions to an Interior Health medical officer of health. After not getting a response to a question about the “mechanism of injury” and what treatments should be given to patients, he sent the letter to the provincial health worker, Dr Bonnie Henry, according to the report. the press release.
“Dr. Henry referred Dr. Hoffe to Dr. Monika Naus, a vaccine safety specialist, who said the injuries were coincidences and that the vaccine was completely safe,” the press release said.
But Dr Naus was unwilling to discuss this conversation, but she was ready to talk about the adverse reaction recording process that has been done with vaccines in BC for a long time but became mandatory in 2019, before COVID. .
This is called post-market safety surveillance where doctors must report adverse events for all vaccines to local health authorities.
Adverse events are reactions that are not expected or listed on the labels or information sheets that accompany vaccines.
For example, pain at the injection site is expected and would only be reported if it persists for nine days or requires medical attention.
Each report is reviewed by the receiving nurse and medical officer of health and the responses are returned to the physicians with one of three recommendations: continue with vaccinations as scheduled, postpone the second injection, or cancel the second injection.
Doctors don’t always agree with these recommendations, so there may be some discussion, Dr Naus said.
Interior Health would also not comment directly on Dr Hoffe’s case.
“Interior Health and First Nations Health Authority are aware that information has recently been shared that has raised concerns about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines,” says an Interior Health document says it has been “shared” with the community from Lytton on April 14. “It is important that the people of the Lytton area, including the Nlaka’pamux and Northern St’at’imc Nations, know that there have been no deaths or lasting side effects related to Moderna / Pfizer vaccines or to any COVID-19 vaccine. , in Lytton, Interior Health or BC at this time.
“Rest assured that there is a detailed process to review all adverse events after vaccinations, and all serious events are recorded and reported at the provincial and national levels to monitor for safety signals that may be missed at the local level. With the information we have on the vaccine deployment so far, COVID-19 vaccines are very safe. ”
Interior Health also provided iNFOnews.ca with a link to a national adverse reaction database which shows that of 54.8 million doses of vaccine administered as of September 24, 17,079 adverse events were reported, including 4,463 were considered serious.
Dr Hoffe’s office assistant posted a one-page Justice Center information sheet on the Lytton Health Center notice board with questionable information.
“Physicians should be aware that when identifying themselves as a physician, the public tends to place great importance on their opinion even though that physician has no expertise in a medical specialty, such as population health. or infectious diseases, ”said a joint statement. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and the First Nations Health Authority issued May 6.
“Disinformation undermines public confidence and is contrary to the ethical obligations set out in the Code of Ethics and Professionalism of the Canadian Medical Association. Physicians should be guided by the laws that govern them, regulatory standards of practice and guidelines, the Code of Ethics and Professionalism, and scientific evidence when giving their opinion on COVID-19.
“Public statements by physicians that contradict public health prescriptions and guidelines are confusing and potentially dangerous to patients,” said Dr. Heidi Oetter, registrar and CEO of the college in the statement. “Those who put the public at risk with disinformation may be the subject of College investigation and, if necessary, regulatory action. ”
Dr Hoffe’s suspension of emergency room privileges means he has lost half of his income and he and his family are suffering financially, Alexander said.
Alexander noted that when the College of Physicians and Surgeons investigates a physician, a team of lawyers are involved. It is therefore common for the doctor under investigation to also be represented by a lawyer.
“Dr. Hoffe has an ethical and legal obligation to ensure that the medical community is aware of his observations on his patient’s reactions to the Moderna vaccine,” the press release states. “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects its right to fulfill this obligation based on guarantees of freedom of expression and conscience.
The Justice Center represented a Kelowna church (Harvest Ministries International) and others who were fined last winter for organizing domestic services in violation of public health orders and challenging COVID orders in court .
READ MORE: Kelowna Church to Face Dr Bonnie Henry in Court
Harvest Ministries was not one of the churches named in the court proceedings. The challenge was dismissed by a British Columbia Supreme Court judge in March.
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