On November 29th I published an article entitled "Calling it Out" where I detailed the bullying and discrediting I'd been the recipient of in a popular online doctors forum. I was not just 'calling out' the behaviour toward me, but also the utter disdain with which some of the commenting doctors spoke about unjabbed patients.
I published the article after being advised that complaints were received about me, by other contributors and that I had been banned from the site. I decided to challenge this as it was very clear to me that the comments of some of these doctors were unprofessional, unethical and derogatory.
Since that day I have had half a dozen emails back and forth requesting specific information about what 'rules' I violated and asking that the Editors address the issue of other commenters discrediting and demeaning of me. The Editors have not been able to provide me with that detail and have advised me that they disagree that I was in any way the recipient of bullying behaviour.
They also asked me to remove my previous post as it violated the terms and conditions which they provided me a link to and which state that comments etc from the site are not to be reproduced. To be fair to me, does anyone actually read the terms and conditions of websites? Or instructions? I am not sure how they read my blog post or who complained about it, but yay more readers!
Given that I do try hard to work within the rules and would never deliberately violate such terms, I withdrew my post immediately. I want to sincerely apologise for any embarrassment caused to any person whose comment I had made public even though I didn't reveal your identity because I thought that would be too embarrassing for you given how terribly rude you were about unjabbed people and toward me.
I then asked that the Editor to reinstate my subscription to their site given that there has been no example given of my comment violation.
Having been a subscriber for a number of years as a health professional as the site is open to ALL health professionals, I have now been advised that it is primarily a forum for 'medical doctors' and that even though they 'value debate', this particular Editor is aware of my 'views' on Covid related issues including lockdowns. I guess he IS the reader of my blog.
My 'views', however he has chosen to interpret them means he has decided that this particular forum is 'not an appropriate platform' for me. I thought about challenging this some more but I had already been warned by more than one 'medical doctor' that it really wasn't worth it and that the site is a one-sided radical forum for the compliant. So I'll move on.
Science, and indeed medical care should not exist in a vacuum of single sided perspectives. Healthcare in particular will only advance if there is allowed more robust debate, a respectful exchange of views, new treatments trialled, all the evidence considered. When a forum such as this becomes so insular that they are simply another echo chamber, there is not much chance of growth and a whole lot of risk of harm as those that get away with censorship, the demeaning of patients and of those with whom they disagree simply perpetuate their way of being as somehow appropriate.
I am sorry that the debate around these issues won't be happening in that forum as I know that there are many who read but don't comment for fear of exactly what has happened to me. This just again reinforces the need for more forums where open debate really is valued. I have no desire to be in an echo chamber of my own views, opinions or beliefs. I LOVE to explore new evidence and information and hear how others think. I am not threatened by this. I'm open to anything new and I consider it respectfully and I decide whether I have a strong rationale for my position or I need to shift. I never demean the other person for their view, nor discourage their sharing of it. I am beginning to wonder how narrow, boring, and dangerous the world will become as this openness to true discussion becomes more and more stifled and more people become too afraid to speak.
NB: To the editor of the not mentioned forum, I am pretty sure this doesn't violate any of your 'rules' but please feel free to email me again if you have a concern. Thank you for reading.