Writing On The Wahl #024 — Informed consent vs coercion

It’s not about the vaccinated vs unvaccinated. It’s about liberty vs tyranny. We need vigorous debate, not divisive rhetoric that sets one side as callus conspiracy theorists and the other as fascistic control freaks. Without intellectually honest public discourse, we will never have informed consent but coercion, whether through the hard power provided in the public health act or the soft power of blaming and shaming the public into compliance.

I am not a medical doctor, and nothing said in this blog, or the corresponding vlog should be taken as medical advice. Would you please consult with your doctor or a trusted medical professional before deciding on any medical procedure?

The conversation on vaccination will be complex. There are many different vaccines, with some being brand new technology. But none have had the sufficient time traditionally required for study before given approval for mass deployment. Neither has there been enough time to understand the long-term unintended effects.

I took some extra time to prepare for this blog by reviewing some of the more current available literature on the subject. Given the sensitive nature of the issue, I wanted to make sure I was approaching it responsibly. After a few hours of reading, it became clear that the vaccine rabbit hole was deep. I will require more time to study the material before making detailed comments on the science available.

Therefore my concern for today’s Writing On The Wahl is not to convince you one way or another; I genuinely believe it is up to the individual to determine. Instead, I will take the angle of liberty vs tyranny, informed consent but coercion.

The Hippocratic Oath (Ορκος) is perhaps the most widely known of Greek medical texts. It requires a new physician to swear upon many healing gods to uphold several professional, ethical standards. Over the centuries, it has often been rewritten to suit the values of different cultures influenced by Greek medicine. The Hippocratic Oath is not required by most modern medical schools, although some have adopted current versions. It is important to note that the 21st century does not explicitly contain the phrase, “first, do no harm,” which is commonly attributed to it.

In 1947 The Nuremberg Code was established. It sought to regulate the activity of medical and scientific experiments on human subjects after the atrocities of the fascistic Nazi regime. Although they realized the importance of Hippocratic ethics and the maxim “Primum non nocere,” which is the Latin for “first, do no harm,” the judges at Nuremberg recognized that more was necessary to protect human research subjects. Accordingly, the judges articulated a sophisticated set of 10 research principles centred not on the physician but the research subject. These principles, which we know as the Nuremberg Code, included a new, comprehensive, and absolute informed consent requirement.

Even when supplemented with informed consent, Hippocratic ethics tend to submerge the subject’s autonomy into what the physician-investigator thinks is best for the subject. Informed consent, the core of the Nuremberg Code, has rightly been viewed as protecting subjects’ human rights. The critical contribution of Nuremberg was to merge Hippocratic ethics and the protection of human rights into a single code. The Nuremberg Code requires that physician-researchers protect the best interests of their subjects (principles 2 through 8 and 10) and proclaims that subjects can actively protect themselves (principles 1 and 9). Most strikingly, for example, in Hippocratic ethics, the subject relies on the physician to determine when it is in the subject’s best interest to end their participation in an experiment. In the Nuremberg Code, the judges gave the subject as much authority as the physician-researcher to end the experiment before its conclusion (principle 9).

I strongly advise that you familiarize yourself with these types of documents, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Between 1932 to 1972, the United States Public Health Service and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention studied the effects of untreated syphilis in black males. The subjects were told they were receiving free healthcare from the federal government, which was a lie and violated the Nuremberg Code. With a bit of time researching online, you will find many other experiments that violated subjects’ human rights with no justice for their crimes against humanity.

In 1961 Stanley Milgram, a Yale psychologist, conducted the first of a series of “Obedience to Authority” experiments shortly after the trial of Adolph Eichman, the Nazi criminal tried in Jerusalem for crimes against humanity. Eichman’s defence was not guilty, claiming that he had merely followed orders. Milgram sought to learn the conditions that led ordinary Germans to be transformed into perpetrators of torture and heinous crimes against inmates of Nazi concentration camps.

Milgram hired actors to be “learners” and recruited 40 men through newspaper ads who said they would serve as “teachers.” They were instructed by white-coated experimenters who encouraged them to apply an increasing electric shock whenever a “learner” answered a question incorrectly. A fake electric “shock generator” was used displaying 30 marked switches indicating “Low” (15 to 100 volts), “Moderate” (75 to 120 volts), “Strong” (135 to 180 volts), “Danger: Severe Shock” (375 to 420 volts) and the highest levels marked “XXX” (435 to 450). The experimenters used a series of four prods: please continue or “please go on; the experiment requires that you continue; it is absolutely essential that you continue; you have no other choice. You must go on.”

Professor Alfred McCoy suggests that it is likely that Milgram’s Experiment was one of the 185 research programs funded by the CIA under MK-ULTRA projects which explored various facets of psychological torture. He notes that like others linked to mind-control projects, “Milgram showed an apparent disregard for his subjects,” recruiting them without serious screening by innocuous advertisements in the local newspaper. He then manipulated them, through deceptive instructions, to participate in torture. McCoy cites Milgram’s biographer, who described the feelings expressed by one of Milgram’s subjects, a military veteran named William Menold, who recalled feeling “an emotional wreck,” a “basket case,” when he realized “that somebody could get me to do that stuff.”

On Monday, August 9th, 2021, Minister for Health Hon, Moses Jn Baptiste, announced to the press that the Prime Minister has indicated that their government will not propose mandatory vaccinations. I am pleased to hear this because it is unethical to force a free citizen to accept medical interventions through coercion. And as seen in the Milgram experiment, people are easily manipulated by an authority to commit atrocities against the individual and humanity at large unwittingly.

While I am encouraged by the statements from the Minister of health, there are still causes for concern as this does not preclude economic authority to impose the medical intervention of vaccination on the public. I want the government to clarify their position on vaccine passports and whether they intend to protect the public from discrimination based on medical history or vaccination status.

It is irrelevant if the government does not mandate vaccination if it allows employers to do it or businesses to deny what can be argued are vital goods and services.

In subsequent blogs, we will soon explore in more detail the science behind COVID to examine the direct and indirect interventions proscribed or prohibited by the government. For now, though, I would like you to contemplate what kind of world we live in and head toward if the debate is stifled and only the accepted mainstream narratives are given credence. We must be vigilant not to be captured by appeals to authority and scaremongering.

Because while since is excellent at answering the question of can we do something, it has failed us numerous times when faced with the question of should we do something.

Until then.
Be strong, stay safe, and God bless Saint Lucia.

Social commentary & political analysis of current affairs and the news worldwide — focusing on implications for Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians in the diaspora.