Sept 29, 2020
Dear College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland
Physician: Dr. Adrain Fine
Subject: This letter is signed by 70 Canadians who seek investigation into comments made in a Sept 2020 Macleans Magazine letter to the editor by Dr. Adrain Fine of Victoria BC. (registered in the province of Newfoundland.) His comments abused his position of authority, violated the public trust, and brought disgrace to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the profession of medicine.
When making public comments we expect Canadian physicians to uphold the code of ethics and professionalism established by the CMA [Canadian Medical Association]. Also, as patients of Canadian physicians, we seek that they uphold their obligations to patient-centered care through words stated by Dr. Fine himself in an unrelated post. “There are several versions of the Hippocratic oath that physicians are supposed to adhere to. An overriding principle is that the physician acts in the patient’s best interest.”
CMA Code of Ethics: Commitment to respect for persons
Dr. Fines’ September 22 commentary violated the CMAs code of ethics and professionalism on many levels. Most notably however is his welcomed anticipation of the deaths of those who decline a COVID-19 vaccine. He states:
“There is one advantage to having a large group of anti-vaxxers in our midst: the incidence of the virus will be increased in that group so that, with COVID-19’s significant mortality rate, eventually there will be an attrition in the percentage of the public infected with the conspiracy virus.”
Dr. Fine goes on to endorse totalitarian social sanctions upon the unvaccinated. This includes stripping Canadian citizens of their rights, dignity, and autonomy by denying healthcare, education, eldercare, forcing them to pay medical costs associated with the treatment of COVID-19, and obstructing their entry to airplanes and cinemas. Such draconian strongarming would marginalize swaths of our population and drive them further away from public health officials. It would disproportionately impact lower socioeconomic income groups and pose life long, catastrophic consequences, particularly upon vulnerable groups such as children, racial minorities, and new immigrants. Furthermore, it violates the right to informed consent free of coercion.
CMA Code of Ethics: “Never participate in or support practices that violate basic human rights.”
Dr. Fine would benefit from an eye-opening Sept 14 letter to the United Nations from scientists concerned about human rights violations with the UN-affiliated Planetary Association for Clean Energy organization titled ‘Vaccine Mandates Violate the Right to Informed Consent’ The authors conclude “All vaccines carry risks. Compulsory vaccination constitutes a gross violation of the right to informed consent. Governments urgently need to orient health policies towards protecting rather than violating this human right.”
CMA Code of Ethics: Commitment to justice
Dr. Fines’ comments lack considerations of implications upon vulnerable populations. There are numerous examples of choices that people make that pose harm to themselves, others, and upon our healthcare system. However, the principles of public health are devised with a commitment to social justice, attention to human rights and equity, where factors of basic needs such as income, housing, and education must prevail. Dr. Fines’ rationale puts us on a slippery slope of who “deserves” healthcare and social services and who does not. Will we resort to forcing methadone upon a heroin addict by denying them access to university or healthcare services if they do not comply? Should we demand the morbidly obese cover rehabilitation costs to healthcare workers injured while transferring them? Force schizophrenics to take medication or if not, refuse their entry to theaters and airplanes? Will we deny medical care to Sikhs motorcycle drivers, whose religions/beliefs forbid them from wearing helmets? Force drunk drivers to pay for their own medical bills if injured in a crash?
CMA Code of Ethics: Commitment to inquiry and reflection
Dr. Fines’ unprofessional comment “Scientific knowledge will not permeate the blanket of mental confusion that envelops anti-vaxxers” overlooks his CMA obligations of a ‘commitment to inquiry and reflection.’ In reality, increasing his knowledge regarding concerns around the safety and effectiveness of a fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine, that numerous, credible voices speak to, would assist him in ‘facilitating informed, ethical decision-making.’
– Coronavirus vaccines have an established troubling history
– mRNA vaccines are using new methods that have never been licensed nor completed a large scale clinical trial for an infectious disease.
– Concerning trial findings to date of two serious neurological events with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and a 20% serious adverse event rate associated with phase 1 of the Moderna vaccine trial of their small group of very healthy study participants (1). After receipt of a second dose of the Moderna vaccine, a troubling 80% of healthy subjects (avg. age 33 years old) in the 100 mcg and 250 mcg dose groups had moderate to severe adverse events. Despite these findings, the trials were deemed a success.
– A Sept 22 New York Times opinion piece by Dr. Peter Doshi, associate editor of the medical journal BMJ, and Eric Topol, Scripps Research professor of molecular medicine, presents a damning case against all 3 current COVID-19 vaccine trials. They cite significant flaws. These include that trials are only observing immunological endpoints in young, healthy adult study participants. This leaves serious evidence gaps of safety or efficacy in other populations that will be injected with this vaccine. The vaccine is also only assessing effectiveness against mild illness and lacks evidence of efficacy for controlling far more important outcomes of moderate/severe infections, hospital/ICU admissions, and deaths. Also, researchers are using weak parameters and a test with known flaws to define what constitutes a COVID-19 infection in study participants.
– The above considered, vaccine manufacturers admit the vaccine will only meet the minimum efficacy of 50% deemed acceptable by the FDA.
– There is a high probability that the vaccinated would continue to spread the infection.
– Admissions that because the long-term safety of some vaccine technologies have limited previous safety data in humans their side effects will be “carefully monitored via pharmacological surveillance” only after they have been injected into the general population.
-The vaccine industry is highly lucrative for profit-driven, corporate pharmaceutical companies that are free of liability for injuries caused by their vaccines. In regards to securing indemnification in Europe, a member of Astra’s senior executive team told Reuters.
“This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in four years the vaccine is showing side effects.” Indeed, the UK has had to pay multi-million pounds in compensation for brain damage caused mainly to children and healthcare workers injured by the 2009 swine flu vaccine.
Alongside merit, vaccines are not uniformly safe. At present, the Sudan and more than a dozen African countries, as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, are battling outbreaks of vaccine acquired polio that the WHO warns has a “high risk” of further spread across central Africa and the Horn of Africa. The USA vaccine compensation fund has paid out over 4 billion in damages to date (despite high obstacles around collecting and that less than 1 % of vaccine injuries are reported), and WHO officials acknowledged significant gaps in vaccine safety at a 2019 conference. As such, Dr. Fine would be advised to adopt a more reflective tone before inspiring a lynch mob mentality and to ‘Recognize the balance of potential benefits and harms associated with any medical act’ A tone more like that of highly reputable physician Heidi Larson who states:
CMA Code of Ethics: Duty to “Communicate information accurately and honestly”
Certainly, public awareness and measures to control the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations are necessary and all deaths are tragic. Yet, Dr. Fine neglects to consider updated, best evidence of the risk of COVID-19, currently awash in blurred medical terminology that demands clarity. COVID-19 is mild in over 80% of cases. The death rate among the Canadian population is only 0.024% ( based on the reported 9200 deaths per / 37,937,904 million Canadians ). The 9200 deaths attributed to COVID-19 to date do not significantly exceed the 8511 deaths from influenza reported by Statistics Canada for 2018. Over 80% of deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities (with restricted access/ targeted isolation measures possible) Likely close to 0% of those under the age of 45 and children have died. Even these numbers probably contain inconsistencies that may have overestimated the mortality rate of COVID-19 and, in some cases, include brazen mistruths. The CDC has confirmed that 6% of deaths are ascribed to COVID-19 while 94 % died WITH it alongside other often lethal conditions including septic shock and end-stage cancers. In addition, some of the excess deaths could be attributable to COVID-19 suppression measures. For example, there have been tragic reports out of Texas of one child suicide daily from kids who state they want their normal lives back.
Dr. Fine further neglects to consider that vaccines are but one of many ways to control infectious disease. He disregards the growing body of evidence that speaks to the benefit of Tcell immunity likely present among significant portions of the population which would provide lasting immunity to protect against COVID-19. Also, there are practical measures such as handwashing and staying home when sick that offer safe, reliable protection that will likely prove invaluable considering the inconsistent /inadequate protection and wane of effectiveness than an experimental COVID vaccine for a mutating virus will likely offer.
CMA Code of Ethics: Recognize that social determinants of health are important factors that affect the health of the patient and of populations.
Canada does not need physicians like Dr. Fine who applauds the death and disenfranchisement of citizens who use reliable, practical measures to protect others while upholding their entitlements to protection under the Canadian constitution and international law that protects them against forced, unwanted medical procedures. Dr. Fine needs to model the professional tone of a July 2020 letter written by past and present Canadian health leaders who endorse a balanced and equitable approach to manage COVID-19.
Thank you so much for your valuable time and consideration. We ask that you share the followup the College has taken regarding our expressed concern to ensure physicians such as Dr. Fine uphold the code of ethics and professionalism expected of them in public forums.
[letter signed by 70 Canadians]