Judge overturns disciplinary action against students questioning COVID-19 vaccine

The professor’s decision to sanction students for skeptical views of the COVID-19 vaccine was rejected by the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia.

This decision is made because Australian healthcare professionals continue to face strict scrutiny of comments and social media posts that are inconsistent with the medical legitimacy of COVID-19.

In October 2021, Leanne Hunt, a senior instructor at the Faculty of Nursing and Agricultural Sciences at West Sydney University, canceled her employment with a nursing student and plaintiff Nera Thiab after the hospital coordinator reported her views to the university.

Without a job assignment, Chiab cannot graduate.

During an orientation at St. George’s Hospital on August 30, 2021, she had a conversation with nurse educator Suiliadon. Dr. Kelly Chant was wrong. ”—Chant was the Supreme Health Officer of the State of New South Wales during the pandemic and received a lot of attention.

Chiab’s placement required her to be vaccinated for a particular role in intensive care. However, her placement was canceled when it became clear that she had not yet received the jab. She also resisted receiving regular cotton swabs for COVID-19 testing.

The nurse will prepare a doctor-supervised Pfizer vaccine in Sydney, Australia on October 3, 2021. (Lisa Marie Williams / Getty Images)

Chiab was later fully vaccinated, and with the strength of this, she was assigned another placement. However, the student began another conversation and reiterated her view of COVID-19 vaccination.

Initially, the coordinator was pleased to continue while she was being monitored, but when Hunt learned what had happened, she canceled the placement again, resulting in disciplinary action. Chiab was told that she apologized and she needed to complete her 1,500-word remorse statement before she returned.

“It’s clear to me that you still don’t understand your position as the future. [registered nurse] According to an email from a senior instructor to Thiab, he did not participate in the case from St. George’s Hospital listed below. “Based on this, I have decided to end your placement. This case has been escalated as an illegal act and you will meet with the Vice Dean on this issue.”

Chiab filed a proceeding against Western Sydney University on this issue, arguing that her “religious or political affiliation, views, or beliefs” should not be discriminated against.

In response, a university lawyer alleged that Chiab violated the Code of Conduct and Opinion from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Commission.

According to the code of conduct, nurses had to avoid expressing personal beliefs that could exploit or affect patients.

Under the opinion, the Board warned practitioners to “promote a statement against vaccination to patients and the general public through social media that contradicts the best scientific evidence available.” ..

Protesters rally against compulsory COVID-19 vaccination of Brisbane workers
Protesters march across the Victoria Bridge on October 1, 2021 during a rally against the compulsory Covid-19 vaccine in Brisbane, Australia. (Dan Peled / Getty Images)

In addition, nurses have been prosecuted by the Australian Health and Medical Workers Regulatory Authority for violating their occupational obligations and publishing “immunization prevention materials” that are considered “false, misleading, or deceptive.” May be subject to.

Justice Guy Parker has found that he is in an advantageous position for Chiab on many issues.

Student conversations were with fellow professional staff, not with patients or the general public. He added that it is “strange” to claim that Thiab violated social media views, given that nurses and nursing students are unlikely to have a huge number of followers online. ..

“In postings on social media, it seems difficult to accept, provided that the nurse does not identify himself that way. [the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia] There will be some basis for regulating such a statement, “he wrote. His judgment on June 10th.

Parker also said that the Code of Conduct requires nurses to act on the basis of “best scientific evidence” and that there was no problem in questioning or doubting current ideas. ..

“Questioning the scientific evidence of vaccine safety is rarely considered a breach of this requirement, as long as it is reasonably done, and may have long-term consequences. We do not point out the possibility of sex or side effects in some clinical situations, “he writes.

Even if the COVID-19 vaccine is given to millions of individuals, Parker said it is too early to “thoroughly investigate” the long-term effects.

The judge was also critical of dealing with Hunt’s issue and did not properly investigate Chiab.

“It wasn’t Chiab’s actual actions that were involved. [university staff].. Rather, they thought she had anti-vaxxer beliefs and those beliefs were undesirable in nursing practice. After they reached these conclusions, they clearly thought it was not necessary to investigate exactly what she said or did.

Epoch Times Photo
A rally to protest the COVID-19 Vaccine Passport at the World Freedom, Peace and Human Rights Rally on May 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Epoch Times)

“Definitely with Mr. Hunt [Deputy Dean Leeane] Heaton would say that if Chiab had anti-baker beliefs, she was at risk of acting on them in dealings with patients. Evidence suggests that this was an insulting misunderstanding of Mr. Chiab’s professionalism. “

Parker said his judgment did not prevent the university from making academic decisions about the student’s work.

“Creationists who answer questions by quoting the Bible in a paleontology exam cannot complain if the university refuses to confer a degree,” he said.

The judge also said it would be best to leave Thiab’s case to the hospital. Meanwhile, the Australian Healthcare Regulatory Authority said in the Epoch Times that there was no further comment on the issue.

Australian practitioners face strict restrictions on what they can and cannot say about the COVID-19 vaccine and public health orders.

Attorney Peter Fam revealed that he had spoken to “hundreds of doctors” on the matter.

“If a doctor reads one of the thousands of peer-reviewed papers investigating adverse events caused by the COVID vaccine and the patient asks them,” Hey, I read one of these studies, so I’m worried. Can you give me some advice on getting this vaccine? ”— [the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency] It limits what doctors are allowed to say, “Fam told The Epoch Times earlier.

Some examples of authorities’ enforcement include the suspension of anesthesiologists in September 2021 after two “anonymous complaints” were filed regarding his social media activities.

In an online petition, Dr. Paul Oosterhuis, a 30-year practitioner, posted content on early treatment for COVID-19, revealing that he questioned the effectiveness of blockades and PCR tests.

Daniel Y. Ten


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national politics, including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and relations between Australia and China. Do you have a hint? Contact him at [email protected].