No, those physicians have a right to speak their beliefs
However, many physicians worried that science and controversial thought were being muzzled.
“Absolutely no,” a doctor stated. “Who judges what is misinformation in this age where debate is canceled? Science advances with challenge, and it’s not about an authority dictating the allowable opinion.”
Another clinician claimed the “truth is very difficult to discern from less-than-truth in a country running on a profit-oriented economic ideology.”
One specialist warned that if disinformation doctors are held responsible, then “that means a lot of doctors” will be “gone” because “almost anything that is written or said about COVID can be contested.”
Another physician warned his colleagues about suppressing new ideas: “To condemn what we didn’t try, or purposefully ignore a different approach because [it] doesn’t agree with our opinion is suppression of information.”
Some doctors insisted the issue extended beyond medicine and into Constitutional freedoms. They also expressed their mistrust in the government to regulate physicians.
“There is a First Amendment in this country,” said one reader. “What you think is false may not be so. The people can listen to whoever they want to and make their own medical decisions. We do not need one iota more of politicizing medicine. Having an MD or DO does not mean you relinquish your First Amendment rights.”
“One of the fundamental problems with a system that allows government to ‘license’ physicians, or any other profession, is that politics inevitably turn to cronyism, and big businesses and wealthy people start controlling the government,” argued a doctor.
One clinician suggested enforcement against health food, drug company commercials, and talk shows: “What about all the [misinformation] at the health food stores and the like. Doctors of natural-whatever? Those info-commercials on tv. How many faxes do I get to ‘approve’ because ‘patients request’ braces and pain-treating expensive compounds advertised on TV? We tolerate those ... What about Dr. Oz and the docs on talk shows claiming BS?”
And the debate goes even further
Some physicians questioned the very notion of claiming “truth.”
“Nobody should be certain that they have the ‘absolute truth,’” said one reader. “In fact, the best clinical insights exceed so-called knowledge by at least one step.”
“Who can determine exactly what is truth?” asked another clinician. “For sure, the ‘Federal Government,’ who ‘is here to help you,’ is not qualified to make such determinations, and who are you to make such a suggestion as to remove someone’s license because they disagree with you? Give me a break!”
Another physician echoed that sentiment: “What’s true and false is often and certainly currently debatable. There are well-qualified physicians (with credentials such as the development of mRNA technology), virologists, and biostatisticians that have valid thoughts on this but do not necessarily agree with the drug company-sponsored journals and news channels (most of them). Their voices should be heard, and they should not lose their licenses. They are doing their work in good conscience.”
One reader commented that he wanted his “freedom of speech,” and offered this defiant advice: “You can take this license and shove it.”
Finally, a physician noted that the political climate has influenced medical directives: “If someone in a leadership role knowingly, and with intent, spread false information, that is wrong. However, during this global pandemic the active and the politics have combined. Red state no mandate, blue state mandate – what does that tell you about American leadership?”
A version of this article first appeared on.