As a physician, I fear government restricting what I can discuss with my patients. If you read the article below, you may or may not agree, but, freedom of speech is being threatened. What government official will decide what I can say to my patients, or what is “dangerous” for me to discuss, under the guise of “misinformation”? Will that put patients in danger? Dr Gitt.
California’s new bill which will discipline doctors for spreading COVID-19 “misinformation” is a “chilling” indication of the Democrats’ position toward free speech in the state, GWU law professor Jonathan Turley told Fox News on Monday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed what some are calling the most controversial bill to come out of the pandemic, which seeks to punish doctors and possibly suspend their medical licenses for spreading “misinformation” to patients on key issues, including vaccinations and medications.
Turley, a Fox News contributor and legal scholar, ripped the legislation in an appearance on “America Reports” later Monday, calling the policy “dangerous” and its implications “chilling.”
“This law is chilling and what it says about free speech in California, [is] these doctors are being told that if they are viewed as spreading misinformation, it will be considered unprofessional conduct, threatening their very licenses…,” Turley said.
“Many issues like mask and vaccine efficacy are all being cited as areas where they want to stop misinformation,” he said. “Those are all areas where people were banned from social media making statements that are now considered to be matters in good faith, issues that are worth debating.”
Turley noted that the global consensus on masks and vaccines has drastically evolved since the pandemic’s onset, pointing to medical professionals and others who were barred from social media platforms for raising questions, many of which “proved to be right.” “Back then when people questioned whether masks were effective, they were barred. And under this law presumably, you could have used this law to threaten their licenses,” he said. “But what was really essential about those dissenters, is they forced discussion and some proved to be right.”
The new bill threatens dissenters in the medical community, Turley said, emphasizing how dangerous it is to intimidate doctors from expressing doubts they may have about what is being put forward in public health policy.
“The problem is they are targeting the very people that we want to feel free to express concerns and doubts,” he said. “These are the people that we need to be part of the debate, and they are chilling that debate.”
Turley said the bill is further indication of the Democrats’ desire to control free speech. Despite being raised in a “very liberal Democratic” family, Turley said he no longer recognizes the party.
“I don’t know why Democrats have become the party of censorship and speech control,” he said. “You know, I come from a very liberal democratic family in Chicago. I don’t recognize the party anymore. It used to be this was a defining part of the Democratic Party. Now law after law is about controlling the speech of others, censoring the speech of others.