Revelations in today’s Sunday Telegraph of Medical Board complaints against Dr David van Gend prove that plans to regulate doctors’ free speech are dangerous.
The Medical Board has received complaints that Dr van Gend’s Twitter does not ‘promote the health of the community’ or the ‘wellbeing of individual patients’ because he has Tweeted his opposition to same-sex marriage and gender ideology.
Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby Martyn Iles said Dr van Gend’s case is only the beginning.
“Whilst the outcome of Dr van Gend’s case is uncertain, the Medical Board’s draft plan to regulate doctor’s free speech through the Health Practitioners Code of Conduct will almost certainly allow activists to punish doctors for having opinions that are not politically correct.
“Through complaints like this, the proposed Code will effectively thought-police the medical profession.
“The Medical Board will be able to police the opinions of doctors, including on social media, and sanction them if they are different to its professional groupthink.
“This is a massive overreach of AHPRA’s authority and an abuse of their power.”
ACL is waiting on a response from the Minister for Health Greg Hunt regarding the overreach of AHPRA and if regulating doctor’s freedom of speech is really the best outcome for our community.