Health News & Commentary

The Firing of Australian Doctor for Social Media Posts Exemplifies the Political Takeover of Medicine

"Barred from seeing his patients for two years and counting, Dr. Jereth’s trial isn’t expected to start until 2022 where the Medical Board will likely seek a permanent ban on him practising medicine."
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The rise of lawfare against Christians may seem non-existent to some. To others, it’s all too painfully real.

While those who dismiss the latter bury their heads in the sand, and deny the existence of persecution in the West, many who are bearing the cost of legal challenges say different.

Perpetually offended activists and career victims seeking to strip a livelihood from anyone who disagrees with them are not a rarity.

Donations can be made to Dr. Jereth Kok’s legal appeal here.

A stand-out example of this was covered by Human Rights lawyer, John Steenhof, in his contribution to the 2021, Dr. Kevin Donnelly compilation, ‘Cancel Culture and the Left’s long March.’ (Find my review of that book here.)

Writing under the heading ‘Slouching Towards Groupthink,’ Steenhof described how “Doctors and other health professionals are increasingly being forced to align with a cultural-left agenda through creeping limits imposed by Codes of Conduct.”

Any breach of the Code, Steenhof explained could “lead to Doctors being struck-off by the Medical Board.”

This, he said, was compounded by the Medical Board’s move towards “leftist critical theory concepts about issues like cultural safety, white supremacy, and colonisation.”

Steenhof states, “Vague terminology allows the Medical Board to ideologically interpret Codes of Conduct to cancel unpopular beliefs and enforce leftist groupthink.”

He calls this, “the politicisation of the medical profession.”

Steenhof argues, “A health regulator should not be able to police, compel speech, or dictate a medical practitioners’ politics or religious beliefs, especially in relation to controversial and sensitive issues like late-term abortion, euthanasia and transgender procedures.”

Examples of concern include, “one of the changes to the Code requiring a medical practitioner to acknowledge systemic racism in providing care.”

The other is the case of Dr. Jereth Kok, a family doctor from Victoria.

In August 2019, the Australian doctor was indefinitely suspended by the Medical Board based on an anonymous complaint regarding social media posts dating from 2010-2017.

Barred from seeing his patients for two years and counting, Dr. Jereth’s trial isn’t expected to start until 2022 where the Medical Board will likely seek a permanent ban on him practising medicine.

Caldron Pool can reveal that it has obtained four samples of posts used by the Medical Board to immediately suspend Dr. Jereth under “emergency powers”, designed to halt malpractice.

This new information adds to Chief Editor, Ben Davis’ exposition from December, which formally introduced CP readers to the ins and outs of Dr. Jereth’s cancellation.

Example 1:

Example 2 (2017):

Example 3 (2017):

Example 4 (2018):

We were also able to obtain social media comments used by the Medical Board against Dr. Kok.

Example A (2010):

Example B (2010):

Example C:

Example D:

Example E:

In addition to these social media posts and interactions, Dr. Kok was also reprimanded for an article offering a Christian medical perspective on transgenderism, published by Eternity News in 2015.

As well as for sharing comments from National Pulse Editor-in-Chief, Raheem Kassam, an article by the American political commentator Matt Walsh, and a post from the satirical website Babylon Bee.

Jereth Kok is a doctor with 15-years’ worth of experience. That experience and his long-standing service to the community appears to have been ditched in favour of an approved ideologically charged political narrative.

All of which was brought about by two anonymous complaints.

Dr. Kok’s suspension for personal social media posts, and comments, is further evidence of medicine’s politicisation.

As Human Rights lawyer, John Steenhof concluded, “Jereth is a good doctor. He does his job well. He treats his colleagues well. He treats his patients well.”

But, Steenhof said, “none of that matters. Solely on the basis of his internet posts, this good doctor’s career has been ruined.”

Cementing his point, Steenhof argued, this “happened not because Dr. Jereth did the wrong thing but because Dr. Jereth said the wrong thing – and all originating from an anonymous complaint from an activist. Another example of cancel culture by way of the legal system.”

Noting how problematic the precedent actually is, Bill Muehlenberg observed: “Now if doctors say the “wrong” thing on private social media pages, the powers that be, can hound a doctor like this right out of business.”

In an interview with Family Voice dated November 2020, Dr. Jereth explained that the complaints came from people he’d never met.

Dr. Jereth told FV,

They had searched through and taken exception to my views about a broad range of political topics. Initially, nine months went by before I was even told about any complaint or investigation. The [Medical] Board ultimately hired a private investigator to run a dragnet over the internet for material written by me.

He added, “No complaint had been made by any patient or colleague, and there was ultimately no concern about the care that I had provided to anybody.”

Writing about an allegation that Dr. Jereth has endorsed racial violence, CP contributor and fellow doctor, Dr. David Van Gend rightly argued that “context is everything,” stating “anybody with a reading age above 12 can tell’ that the comment in question is meant to scorn ‘the decadent West for exporting its culture of death to poor countries.”

Criticising the action taken against Dr. Kok, Van Gend labelled it an “injustice.”

He then asserted that “the Board has gravely defamed this GP and owes him an immediate apology and public retraction.”

I agree. Read in context, some of Dr. Jereth’s posts appear to be a classic example of dry humour. All of them suggest Jereth was operating as a discerning member of the public, not an on-duty doctor.

Of additional concern is the Medical Board’s (itself currently under scrutiny) expansion and weaponization of “emergency powers” to be used as a stick against doctors who don’t match the political blueprint.

The action taken against Dr. Jereth raises questions about regulatory bodies abusing their power by openly discriminating against a doctor on religious, philosophical, theological and political grounds.

There’s a big difference between a doctor’s professional office and a doctor’s personal social media page.

Caldron Pool has reached out to Dr. Jereth for comment and expects to speak with him in the near future.

A Give Send Go fundraising campaign set up for Dr. Jereth to help cover his legal defence has already raised $66,000, but is still short of the $155,000 target.

Donations can be made to Dr. Jereth Kok’s legal appeal here.


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