MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

All healthcare professionals have an ethical obligation to be truthful and act in the best interest of the patient by adhering to the best available evidence. Providing false or misleading information to patients or consumers is thus a breach of medical ethics. In Canada, the authorities have started taking action against nurses that violate these ethical principles.

Now it has been reported that a former registered nurse in West Kelowna has been suspended for four weeks after giving a vulnerable client anti-vaccine information and recommending “alternative pseudoscience” treatments.

According to the terms of a consent agreement posted on the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives site, Carole Garfield was under investigation for actions that happened in September 2021. The college claims that Garfield contacted the client when she was off duty, using her personal mobile phone and email to give information against the COVID-19 vaccine and recommending so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). The exact nature of the “pseudoscience modalities” Garfield recommended to the client was not listed in the college’s notice.

Garfield’s nursing licence was cancelled back in April, according to the college’s registry. It’s unclear how exactly the four-week suspension will be applied. In addition to her month-long suspension and a public reprimand, Garfield is not allowed to be the sole nurse on duty for six months. She will also be given education about ethics, boundaries, and client confidentiality, as well as the province’s professional nursing standards. “The inquiry committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public,” read a statement from the college.

In my view, it is high time for professional bodies to act against healthcare professionals who issue misleading information to their patients. In the realm of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM), issuing false or misleading information is extremely common and causes untold harm. Such harm would be largely preventable if the professional bodies in charge would start acting responsibly in the best interest of patients. It is high time that they follow the Canadian example!

22 Responses to A nurse has been suspended for giving a vulnerable client anti-vaccine information and recommending “alternative pseudoscience”

  • “She will also be given education about ethics, boundaries, and client confidentiality…”

    Would that be: “First do no harm.” ?

    • See First do no harm!!! What does it mean? How does it apply to alternative medicine?
      https://edzardernst.com/2018/06/first-do-no-harm-what-does-it-mean-how-does-it-apply-to-alternative-medicine/

      • “First do no harm”
        Is the simplest way to say it. There is no other meaning.

        • @Old Bob
          “First do no harm” is a stupid, meaningless phrase. Anything anyone does or does not do has the potential to do harm.
          Antivaccine people don’t vaccinate their kids? Then they increase their kids’ chances of contracting a serious disease, causing harm. Homeopaths prescribe sugar crumbs to a patient with fatigue symptoms? Then they do deadly harm if this patient later turns out to die from an untreated heart condition (I have seen this happen to a friend of the family). A bioresonance quack ‘diagnoses’ a patient with deficiencies, weak organs an toxins, and sells them supplements to fix the problems? Then they harm the patient in several ways: by making them worry needlessly about their health, and by selling them expensive supplements they don’t need. Etcetera etcetera.

          • Richard Rasker on Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 15:14 said:
            “‘First do no harm’ is a stupid, meaningless phrase. Anything anyone does or does not do has the potential to do harm.”

            It’s “First do no harm” not “First do no potential harm.”

            “…Antivaccine people don’t vaccinate their kids? Then they increase their kids’ chances of contracting a serious disease, causing harm…”
            Or they increase the chance of causing their kids serious harm:
            https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/polio-cases-now-caused-vaccine-wild-virus-67287290

            Excess mortality is over 10% in the highly vaccinated countries since Q3 of 2021:
            https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/excess-mortality-p-scores-average-baseline?country=USA~GBR~ISR~AUS~NZL~DNK

            Choosing one’s own health care is just that: one’s own choice, good or bad. Giving up that freedom to government-control is just that: no more choice.

          • @Old Bob

            It’s “First do no harm” not “First do no potential harm.”

            ‘First do no harm’ is a stupid, meaningless phrase, as evidenced by your own comments: you defend antivaxx nurses suggesting that people get harmed through vaccines – so vaccination should be discouraged because according to you and these dimwitted nurses, those vaccines cause harm (which, in fact, they don’t).
            NOT vaccinating people cause MUCH MORE HARM to MUCH MORE PEOPLE. So you are the one trying to harm lots of people, violating that one rule that you seem so fond of.

            Or they increase the chance of causing their kids serious harm: [vaccine-derived polio]

            Sorry old chap, but you are completely, utterly wrong again. Vaccinating kids against polio does NOT given them polio, EVER. Quite the contrary: those kids are protected against polio for the rest of their lives.
            Vaccine-derived polio can occur when the virus in live oral polio vaccine (OPV, used only in developing countries, not in western countries) manages to spread to groups of UNvaccinated people, where it can then mutate back into the dangerous variety. However the kids who received OPV, are still fully protected and will not develop polio. The best way to prevent vaccine-derived polio is to intensify vaccination programs.

            Choosing one’s own health care is just that: one’s own choice, good or bad.

            So people should be free to make bad healthcare choices for themselves and their kids, doing harm in the process – but at the same time they should do no harm? And governments should not be allowed to intervene to prevent that harm?

            Argh … You are so dim that it hurts my brain – so you are harming me. Please stop it.

          • Richard Rasker on Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 19:00 said:

            “ ‘First do no harm’ is a stupid, meaningless phrase… Argh … You are so dim that it hurts my brain – so you are harming me. Please stop it.”

            OK.

  • These health professionals have been trained, have received accurate information, and have chosen to provide health misinformation. They should automatically have qualifications revoked and be required to study their entire program again. They are not qualified to work in health care.

    • Christine Sutherland on Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 10:27 said:
      “These health professionals have been trained, have received accurate information, and have chosen to provide health misinformation. They should automatically have qualifications revoked and be required to study their entire program again. They are not qualified to work in health care.”

      Tell that to Maddie de Garay.

      • According to an NBC news report “The mother of the girl and the group behind the ad have not provided any evidence that the girl was diagnosed as harmed by a Covid-19 vaccine.” referring to Maddie de Garay. https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/vaccine-misinformation-poised-spike-covid-shots-kids-roll-rcna4360

        • Mr. Eeeqs on Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 13:56 said:
          “According to an NBC news report “The mother of the girl and the group behind the ad have not provided any evidence that the girl was diagnosed as harmed by a Covid-19 vaccine.” referring to Maddie de Garay.”

          So now it is up to the mother for proof (a non medic) – instead of the FDA (who’s job is proof – as paid for by the People). The whole point of the trial was to discover the toxicity, not to dismiss it.

          • I am suspicious of the de Garay story. She may have a diagnosable functional condition needing careful treatment. Instead, she is paraded around the media as an irreversibly damaged victim of vaccination. She needs to be sorted out, not used in the way she is being used. Very sad and worrying

          • Colin bannon on Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 22:23 said:
            “…She needs to be sorted out, not used in the way she is being used. Very sad and worrying.”

            Agred, Pfizer refused to help. But We The People can, here:
            https://www.lifefunder.com/maddie

  • Unfortunately, education does not always triumph over belief. These people could easily just pretend to comply, but carry on with the same intentions afterwards, keeping them covert.

    • peggy-sue on Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 11:29 said:
      “Unfortunately, education does not always triumph over belief…”
      Fortunately education does not always triumph over belief e.g. New Order vs Love Thy Neighbor.

      “…These people could easily just pretend to comply, but carry on with the same intentions afterwards, keeping them covert…”
      E.g. Oskar Schindler.

      • False Equivalence, another logical fallacy, but that is your “forte”.

        Richard Rasker on Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 19:00 said:

        “ ‘First do no harm’ is a stupid, meaningless phrase… Argh … You are so dim that it hurts my brain – so you are harming me. Please stop it.”

    • If nurse education in Canada is anything like that in the UK it will be very light on critical thinking, science, understanding research, basic statistics and the like.

  • Very true, Prof Edzard. It’s long overdue for health regulators to start regulating. Here in Australia we have a GP who advertises that she uses the Healy Machine to realign your chakras, was reported to the regulator who ‘reminded’ her of her obligations. As weak as water. She deserved to be struck off.

  • https://www.cbs17.com/community/health/coronavirus/fact-check-were-new-covid-19-boosters-tested-in-just-8-mice-should-it-matter/

    Why did they even bother with the eight mice. Just keep tweaking the formula time after time, it SHOULD still be safe….right ? WOW
    Actually, they don’t even know if the mice would have survived the test, they withdrew their blood to examine it.

    Reckless Reckless and more RECKLESS !

    And now Joe Biden is claiming the pandemic is over (just in time for the mid-term elections). But that won’t stop government from controlling people’s lives and requiring jabs…. for the “EMERGENCY”

    • RG,
      As usual, it appears that you haven’t read the entire article that you referenced gleefully. Everyone here know you are an anti-vaxxer to the core and regardless of how these vaccines are tested you’d have a problem with it.

      THE FACTS: The basic fact is actually true — the preliminary findings presented by Pfizer were based on tests in eight mice.
      What does it mean? Well, that is being blown out of proportion because experts point to several reasons why that might sound worse than it actually is.
      “There’s no concern from the safety perspective that this vaccine is safe,” said Dr. Pia MacDonald, an epidemiologist at RTI International.
      An earlier bivalent booster — one that targeted the BA.1 subvariant — has already found to be safe. The slight tweak to focus it on BA.5 was not nearly enough to affect how safe it is.
      “They did all the studies you were supposed to do to show the safety of that, and BA.1 and BA.5 are very similar,” said Dr. David Wohl, an infectious disease expert at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “And so there’s really no reason to think that there should be anything different.”
      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it bases its decision for these new bivalent vaccines in part on the clinical study of the BA.1-focused shots that are similar to the newest ones.
      “We know that by just putting in a little genetic variation in the vaccine of the virus, that that does not impact on the safety of the virus because the manufacturing process is identical, minus the small amount of genetic material that is tailored to the new variant,” MacDonald said.
      That process might sound familiar — the flu shots we get every year are developed the same way.

      Emphasis mine.

      • But you are missing the essential point. Medicines must be proved to be 100% safe and effective to everyone’s satisfaction whilst Fred’s snake elixir just needs to smell nice. And have a few likes on Facebook.

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