In a Denman Island physician’s view, it’s a battle to protect his right to free speech.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons though apparently wants Dr. Stephen Malthouse to stop speaking on COVID-19 issues.
In a B.C. Supreme Court file, Malthouse says the CPSBC has been trying to stop him from questioning direction from public health officials over measures aimed to stop the spread of COVID-19. The investigation has come largely because of complaints from physicians not associated with his practice as a doctor, the document states.
Malthouse filed the petition in civil court on June 24 in an attempt to quash decisions from the CPSBC and its Inquiries Committee aimed at stopping him from expressing his opinions. It cites a May 17 letter allegedly saying he would be reprimanded.
There is nothing listed on the College of Physicians and Surgeons website in terms of any disciplinary actions against him in terms of running his medical practice. A CPSBC spokesperson told the Record, “Investigations that result in discipline are disclosed to the public and remain on the public record. There has been no decision related to Dr. Malthouse. The college cannot comment further at this time as the matter is before the court.”
He is still listed as a physician on Denman Island. An online search shows Malthouse as being connected with the Denman Medical Clinic, but the clinic confirmed he has not been practicing there for some time.
In the court petition, Malthouse argues his opinions and statements on COVID-19 are outside the context of his practice and patient care. He and his legal counsel also argue the CPSBC’s actions fall beyond the scope of the Health Professions Act and that he is being punished because he disagrees with public health policy.
“The only reasonable conclusion to draw is that the College, and the Committee, acted in bad faith,” the document states.
The petition also outlines the basis of Malthouse’s opinions and actions, particularly around a letter sent to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, questioning public health statements and directives around flattening the curve, masks, PCR testing used to screen for the presence of viral RNA and banning the use of treatments that could help before a vaccine had been put out to market. It also states the doctor was prepared to take part in efforts early on until it became apparent the “tsunami” of COVID-19 patients did not occur.
The newspaper was sent a copy of the letter last fall. In it, among other claims, Malthouse states the pandemic is over and no second wave will follow.
In the court document, there is little reference to vaccines, beyond the statement of other treatments being banned last year prior to a vaccine being ready for market. However, it does reference the CPSBC’s reaction to a letter to the editor Malthouse submitted to a Denman and Hornby Island newsletter in March. In the opinion piece, he questions the efficacy of an mRNA vaccine, noting the rapid duration of testing, and suggests it is not a vaccine but rather an experimental gene modification product. As well, he references low mortality rates for people under 40 as well as previous problems with vaccines for coronaviruses.
In one YouTube video, Malthouse suggests the mRNA vaccine could lead to infertility and that “… essentially, people are going to be made into guinea pigs for this vaccine.”
In May, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and the First Nations Health Authority released a joint statement reminding doctors they could face consequences for spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
“Public statements from physicians that contradict public health orders and guidance are confusing and potentially harmful to patients,” Dr. Heidi Oetter, registrar and CEO of the college, said at the time.
The Record contacted Malthouse by email for further comment and will update the story if there is more information.
With files from Katya Slepian