Canadians willing to suspend liberties in a pandemic: poll
Sharon Kirkey, Canwest News Service Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
More On This Story
Pregnant women focus of H1N1 flu campaign
Vaccine production far less than forecast: WHO
Contagious and Infectious Diseases
Health and Fitness
University of Toronto Joint Centre
Powered by Inform
- + Change font size
Comment on this story
Print this story
E-Mail this story
Share This Story
Story tools presented by
A sign inside St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto warns visitors not to visit family or friends if they have had flu-like symptoms. Mark Blinch/Reuters A sign inside St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto warns visitors not to visit family or friends if they have had flu-like symptoms.
Canadians are bullish on giving government officials permission to restrict personal freedoms in a flu pandemic, with half of those surveyed agreeing that violation of a quarantine order would be tantamount to manslaughter.
As well, 90% of Canadians surveyed for a research report in pandemic ethics believe doctors and nurses have an obligation to report to work during a pandemic, provided safety precautions are in place. Almost half -- 48% -- say that health care workers who do not show up for work without a legitimate excuse should be fired or lose their professional licenses.
The survey, conducted for the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, is based on a random sample of 500 Canadians surveyed by phone, and nearly 100 more via a series of town hall meetings. The survey was taken between August 2008 to February 2009 -- just before the H1N1 outbreak began in April.
The town halls straddled the start.
Both were designed to inject the public's voice into debates usually left to the experts, and the results come as officials brace for an anticipated second wave of H1N1 flu.
Researchers are warning that the serious ethical challenges that could accompany a pandemic need to be thought through now, while there's still time to respond.
"There's going to be a lot of uncertainty to decision making, even in a mild pandemic," says Dr. Ross Upshur, director of the UofT bioethics centre, which Wednesday released a series of research papers on pandemic ethics.
The reports draw on lessons learned from the SARS outbreak and address issues from whether health care workers have an implicit duty to treat patients, to fraught ethical questions such as: who should get the last bed and ventilator in an intensive care unit -- a cyclist who has suffered a severe, but potentially reversible brain injury, or a nurse infected with H1N1 while caring for patients who need immediate ventilation support?
"Even though there may be some skepticism about perhaps overreaction to H1N1, let's remember the past. We weren't prepared for SARS," Upshur says.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty about H1N1. It's still a new pathogen," he says. "It seems to be tracking reasonably mild. But there are still ethical issues that require discussion."
Past surveys have suggested anywhere from 25% to 85% of health-care workers would be unwilling to show up for work in a pandemic.
"If you think of it, that's a pretty stunning number," Dr. Upshur says. He says professional codes of ethics and regulatory bodies haven't set clear directives on what they expect of health care professionals in a disease crisis.
A large majority -- 85% -- of those who responded to the UofT survey agreed governments should have the power to suspend some individual rights, such as travelling and the right to assemble, during a flu pandemic, and "social distancing"measures such as school closures. But they also said governments have an obligation to provide for the basic needs of restricted individuals, such as food, shelter and social support.
"Canadians are accepting of duly issued orders by public health authorities if they're clearly communicated . . . and they're not left on their own to fend for themselves without support of some kind," Dr. Upshur said.
Asking people to suspend their civil liberties "is legitimate, for a time limited period, if it's clearly communicated and measures for support are put in place," he said.
But while the survey found broad support for quarantine and isolation in a pandemic, the report says high levels of public trust and communication will be essential in managing a flu crisis. Poor communication contributed to the confusion and spread of the SARS virus in 2003. Upshur said officials need to be open and honest about what is, and what isn't known about the situation.
"People feel confident and accepting of interventions when there's trust in the public institutions and their capacity to respond," Dr. Upshur said. "We know that once violated it's very hard to recover it, and that it's very easy to violate trust."
When asked whether health care workers should be conscripted into service during a pandemic, 47% agreed, while 43% disagreed.
But survey respondents also said that having to care for a sick relative, or having a serious health problem that could make people more vulnerable to flu, were legitimate excuses from work.
Upshur said hard decisions will need to be made about who should have access to ventilators, vaccines, antivirals and other resources in a flu outbreak. Ninety-four per cent of those surveyed said health care workers should receive priority for antivirals, followed by children. They said scarce medical resources ought to be given to those most likely to survive.
One of the most contentious issues could be vaccination, Dr. Upshur says. The swine flu vaccine is expected to be deployed before all the data from human trials that test safety are complete.
The researchers say "rigorous" surveillance systems need to be put in place to monitor for vaccine safety and effectiveness and that a no-fault compensation program for all of Canada should accompany the roll out of the H1N1 flu shots.
Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2024882#ixzz0S06OAnPqhttp://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2024882
Impending Mandatory Vaccinations Will Affect The Health, Jobs of Canadians
After recent reports that Canada's public health officials are engaged in cover-up operations to conceal flu origin, there is now evidence and growing concerns and that all the warnings, dire predictions and preparations for the H1N1 swine flu are leading to mandatory vaccinations under the guise of "voluntary cooperation" initiatives from Canadian health agencies.
The Canadian pandemic plan calls for the vaccination of the entire population over a period of two months. Vaccination campaigns are targeting the workplace, schools, recreational centres and even bars and nightclubs. Community mass vaccination clinics are scheduled to inoculate millions of people in every province in Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) state on their own website that International Health Regulations provide a legal framework under the World Health Organization (WHO) to protect against and control the international spread of disease such as a flu pandemic. They also state that they will establish a process that is to be followed by the WHO for determining and responding to a public health emergency of international concern.
Under the WHO charter determined in 2005, it has the authority to dissolve Canada's government policies on emergency planning, mandatory vaccinations and to take control should there be a “pandemic”. This applies to any country signed onto the WHO.
From the WHO 2005 declaration: (excerpted) “ Under special pandemic plans enacted around the world..., national governments are to be dissolved in the event of a pandemic emergency and replaced by special crisis committees, which take charge of the health and security infrastructure of a country, and which are answerable to the WHO and EU in Europe and to the WHO and UN in North America."
When it comes to the legal framework under the WHO, PHAC has absolutely no details or restrictions in terms of who will administer the inoculations and how. This means that once WHO pandemic policies are enacted, it could allow non-healthcare personnel, such as police and military to vaccinate people against their will to enforce mandatory vaccinations. These are obviously worse case scenarios, but the laws regarding pandemic preparedness and procedures are clear and these policies are not debatable once the government declares a nationwide emergency.
Many countries are in the process of acquiring from Baxter, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and other pharmaceutical companies enough doses of vaccine to vaccinate their entire population twice. Many countries are remaining quiet about mandatory vaccination, simply saying they will make vaccination ‘available’ to all on a priority basis. But Greece and Switzerland have already announced that their programs will be mandatory and enforced by the military. There are unconfirmed reports that Norway and Israel have done the same.
Confirmed reports of regional H1N1 pandemic planning documents from the UK indicate that local authorities intend to set up mass vaccination sites to be overseen by crowd control police. The United States is preparing for military ‘assisted’ mandatory vaccination but has not explicitly declared its intentions to the public.
Individual Canadian provinces are supposedly given the authority to decide how to achieve the highest level of vaccination. The Canadian government claims this does not mean they will make it mandatory or use physical force. However, there are tactics in place, including heavy doses of propaganda, along with various forms of social and economic coercion which suggest otherwise. Just how it will all play out depends very much on the individual province, but reports from the public suggest that the current theme of intimidation is requiring many Canadian workers to demonstrate that they have received the flu vaccination to remain employed.
"Canada is deceiving the public and promoting a whole new dimension of voluntary cooperation for vaccines," said Margaret Sauvé, a nurse and medical administrator from Montreal, Quebec. "If this is their idea of voluntary cooperation, I would really hate to see what a mandatory policy would look like, because we have no choice if we want to keep our jobs" she added.
The Association of Local Public Health Agencies in Ontario is already on record supporting mandatory seasonal flu shots for health workers. The group says that applies to H1N1 too.
"Our position is it should be mandatory irrespective of the pandemic; our position is on seasonal flu, which this could turn out to be," said Gordon Fleming, manager of public health issues. "The flu is the flu is the flu."
Seven years ago, facing vigorous protest, Ontario withdrew a law making it mandatory for paramedics to get flu shots. This law would be null and void under the powers of the WHO pandemic charter which would trump provincially mandated laws regarding vaccination policy.
Health workers "do have a responsibility to stay healthy and protect their patients and co-workers by getting a flu shot," said Andrew Morrison of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
The percentage of Canadian health care workers in long-term care facilities who get an annual flu shot is 50-70%. The evidence currently suggests that as a priority group targeted for vaccines, healthcare workers will not only be given priority, but will also not have any freedom of choice to refuse the vaccination. "Healthcare workers who are in non-compliance for their inoculation of flu vaccines will likely be suspended pending an investigation, or terminated," stated a medical officer from a Toronto-based healthcare organization.
A report from PHAC's website on August 6, 2009, stated that just over 50 million doses of H1N1 vaccine were ordered from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) under Canada's ten-year sole-supplier contract with them.
GlaxoSmithKline was criticized by health experts last year for continuing vaccine trials in Argentina which killed more than a dozen babies. GSK has routinely conducted trials in Third World countries on poor people who often feel trapped into participating in human health experiments in order to receive medical care or other necessities.
Canada's yearly flu vaccine developed by GSK, contains (as noted on Biotechnology Information Institute website) a number of toxins including formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, thimerosal (a dangerous mercury derivative) and chicken embryo (egg) culture which has been linked to a vast number of allergic responses.
In addition to the above toxins, the H1N1 vaccine scheduled for deployment in Canada will have the squalene adjuvant AS03, polysorbate 80, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, and aluminum adjuvant among others.
Oil-based vaccination adjuvants like squalene have been proven to trigger chronic, auto-immune diseases, immune-mediated joint-specific inflammation and catastrophic injury to the nervous system causing diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
The use of the adjuvants in flu vaccines is not licensed or approved in the U.S. or Canada. Public health advocates are crying fowl and stating that it clearly demonstrates the irresponsible nature of American and Canadian health officials. They have willingly endangered the lives of their citizens, by-passing regulatory procedures for vaccine safety and efficacy in exchange for the "emergency use" practices declared by International Health Regulations.
Anti-vaccine advocates, drug investigators and health experts are warning Canadians at unprecedented rates, that not only are adjuvanted vaccines illegal for use in Canada, but it will be impossible for studies to conclusively determine their safety by the October-November timeline proposed for government vaccination campaigns.
Some health experts question why Canada would order a small quantity of non-adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine (approx. 1.2 million doses) as part of its total order of just over 50 million doses. "This implies that health officials in Canada are well aware of the dangers associated with squalene," stated Marco Antonescu, a Los Angeles based microbiologist and vaccine researcher.
PHAC stated on their website that the purchase of a small quantity of non-adjuvanted vaccine is a precautionary measure for pregnant women as no clinical data of the safety of adjuvanted vaccine in this group is available. "That's quite the overstatement," says Antonescu. "There is no clinical data anywhere on the long-term safety of adjuvanted vaccines for any group."
The side effects and contraindications listed for all adjuvanted vaccine studies are all based on short-term assessment. "You cannot assess the safety of adjuvants without long-term subject studies, since this is when many of the problems arise, especially in the months and years that follow the vaccination," he added.
High rates of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause paralysis was a result of adjuvanted vaccines used in the 1976 swine flu scare.
"Guillain-Barre syndrome is always a concern and Canada is obviously ready to pull the plug on these adjuvanted vaccines and make the switch to their non-adjuvanted stockpile should large numbers of people begin reacting, which is a likely scenario," Antonescu concluded.
Despite the dangers clearly associated with adjuvants, the WHO has maintained their position that there is no danger and insists that there are no special concerns about the safety of adjuvanted H1N1 vaccines.
GSK admits that they have not completed even one of more than 15 studies in over 9000 adults and children (including infants) across Europe, Canada and the US to evaluate the H1N1 adjuvanted vaccine. No data from this clinical development programme has been submitted to Canadian health regulators, despite plans to begin inoculations as early as October.
Yet, PHAC is stating that vaccine production remains on target. "We remain on target to have a safe and effective vaccine available in November 2009."
With all of the careless and ill-considered decisions made by Canadian health officials, PHAC still has the audacity to insist that the government of Canada employs the most advanced science available to help ensure the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Morever, they suggest that their ludicrous timelines are largely consistent with pandemic vaccine development internationally.
Health epidemiologist, Michael Hager has worked with health agencies that deal directly with PHAC. He comments "most of the directors of the Public Health Agency of Canada are the most cretinous and malicious health officials that could ever run a national health agency. They have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they simply cannot be trusted to safeguard the health and wellness of Canadian citizens."
* More articles in the Flu Pandemic Archive
* Public Health Officials in Canada Engaged
in Cover-Up Operation To Conceal Flu Origin
* Canada Plans To Vaccinate The Entire
Population Against H1N1 Swine Flu
* Vaccines Are One Big Experiment Causing
Hundreds of Diseases In The Modern World
* Drug Industry Investigator Launches FBI
Request To Investigate H1N1 Swine Flu
* H1N1 Vaccine Shortage Prompts Backtrack:
One Vaccine is Suddenly Protective Now
* Junk Science and Contradictions Dominate
WHO Pandemic Statements and Policies
* How To Orchestrate An Effective
Pandemic Campaign For The Flu
* Solutions To Help Those
Forced To Take The H1N1 Vaccine
* Vaccines Are Producing
The Pandemic, Not The Flu
* The H1N1 Vaccine Is A Much Greater
Risk To Your Health Than The Flu Itself
* First Target of Vaccination Campaigns:
Pregnant Women And Unborn Children
* Governments Massively Stockpiling
Vaccines For Campaigns This Fall
* Governments Intensifying Fearmongering
Strategies For Mass H1N1 Vaccinations
* Mass Vaccinations Being Prepared
For WHO And UN Sponsored Genocide
* Journalist Fired Over Flu Pandemic Lawsuit
* Swine Flu Hype: Political Lies and
Media Disinformation are Rampant
* Inoculations Are The True
Weapons Of Mass Destruction
* Baxter Caught Shipping Vaccines With
Live Avian Flu Virus To 18 Countries Worldwide
* Federal U.S. Laws Will Make Dangerous
Vaccinations Mandatory For All Americans
* Speculations of Origins of Swine
Flu Proliferate Across Internet
* The Risks Of Vaccines Currently
Outweigh Any Benefits To Human Health http://preventdisease.com/news/09/092309_mandatory_vaccinations_Canada.shtml