Doctors will face disciplinary action for voicing opinions that differ from ‘generally accepted’ views under proposed changes to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.
In a plan that is already being called out as ‘dangerous’ and ‘unprecedented in impact’ doctors face penalties that include the Authority labelling them as ‘unprofessional’.
Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby Martyn Iles called the plan a direct attack on free speech.
“If these clauses are included in the revised Code it will regulate doctors’ freedom of speech and conscience. As a society we rely on the medical profession having a difference of opinion, research and progress is validated through having a different opinion. There is a long-standing practice of people actively seeking a second opinion. Why would we want to limit this?”
“Today I will write the Minister for Health Greg Hunt and seek his urgent views on whether he is aware of this overreach and if he believes stifling opinion and free speech in the medical community is really in the best interest of the community.