EDITORIAL for Monday 20 April 2015

Welcome to this week’s edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) for the week commencing Monday 20 April 2015.
Well, this week it would seem that the whole World is talking about vaccine policy and the elements that are being attempted to be built in to those policies.
Australia, it seems, with the help of the Murdoch Press and biased journalists is creating quite a frenzy, adding to, rather than clarifying, the confusion surrounding proposed vaccine policy.

These are the same people who have also been sitting in judgement of the pharmacy profession recently, so we decided to have a look at their own code of ethics so readers may judge how these people reflect against their own code, given that these people are part of the same organisation that was involved in telephone hacking and other unethical activities in the UK recently.
We have published only the introduction, and the first of the 12 clauses it contains, plus their Guidance clause.
For more information visit their site through the link below.

Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance – Journalists’ Code of Ethics

Respect for truth and the public’s right to information are fundamental principles of journalism. Journalists describe society to itself. They convey information, ideas and opinions, a privileged role. They search, disclose, record, question, entertain, suggest and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They give a practical form to freedom of expression. Many journalists work in private enterprise, but all have these public responsibilities. They scrutinise power, but also exercise it, and should be accountable. Accountability engenders trust. Without trust, journalists do not fulfil their public responsibilities. Alliance members engaged in journalism commit themselves to:

Respect for the rights of others

Journalists will educate themselves about ethics and apply the following standards:

Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts.
Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis.
Do your utmost  to give a fair opportunity for reply.

Guidance Clause

Basic values often need interpretation and sometimes come into conflict. Ethical journalism requires conscientious decision-making in context. Only substantial advancement of the public interest or risk of substantial harm to people allows any standard to be overridden.

If you feel an Alliance member is in breach of the code, you can lodge a complaint using the process outlined here.

Pharmacy leadership bodies should consider making a formal complaint to this organisation as well as the Australian Press Council in respect of  5CPA issues and about the manner in which pharmacists and pharmacies were portrayed in relation to delivering the PBS to the general public, and the untrue utterances made to the general public.
From the pharmacy perspective, it seems that every aspect of the journalist’s code of ethics has been broken without any balancing action able to be delivered.
I find it difficult to accept the degree of criticism inflicted on pharmacists by these journalists, given the disregard they have for their own professional principles.
I also believe that their attack will be ongoing as a form of “softening up” of pharmacy, through damaging trust with the general public (a similar strategy to the AMA).
A more malleable pharmacy environment is desired by Pharma interests that need a market replacement for “blockbuster” drugs.

And it should be noted that only one perspective is being promoted in respect of vaccine policy (pro-vaxer – the envisaged blockbuster drug replacement) with all other perspectives being totally drowned out.

That goes against the grain at i2P as we like to hear all arguments on all known issues before making up our minds, so forgive us if we pursue a variety of alternative perspectives to balance things up a little.

In regard to the Australian government’s plans to introduce coercive vaccination legislation, I believe that it is only a matter of time before the government is challenged legally on these proposed laws, because they override many health professional’s codes of conduct, a range of international treaties and basic human rights.
Think about this.
Who do your children actually belong to?
If there is not a concerted stand against Pharma fraud and coercive marketing, plus an independent and unbiased examination of the evidence, you and your children will be owned by the drug industry, and your children’s children and their descendants.
They will be simply a marketplace for those companies.
They are quantified in terms of vaccination for every birth and how much revenue they will generate for the pharmaceutical industry in a mandated program for which there is no real recourse to any kind of compensational litigation if your children are harmed.
I am not an “anti-vaxer” or a “pro-vaxer” – but I am a “safe-vaxer” and some vaccines are indeed very unsafe.
And we believe there are better methods to reach vaccine “refusers” through being open and truthful, and providing the full facts for all vaccines.

We will be exploring comprehensively the legal, ethical and moral issues in more detail in future editions.
We have started the ball rolling in the following articles:

Is “The Conversation” Biased?

Here Elizabeth Hart describes a range of experiences, one of which was being locked out of the comments section of a “Conversation” article by dubious means.

Some questions for Scott Morrison on the ‘no jabs/no pay’ policy

Here Baz Bardoe discusses a range of issues that mainstream media has either glossed over or not balanced their reportage with relevant issues.

I’ve been thinking about SOS, shingles, and the v-word

Here Mark Neuenschwander discusses his experience using a shingles vaccine. He is a “happy-vaxer”.

We have revisited the concepts that will underpin Advanced Community Pharmacy practice to aid in the design of the new paradigm pharmacy in the article:

A Clinical Look at Pharmacy

And we have a range of general interest articles found under the following titles:

Something Fishy Going On?

More street smart ideas to drive success

DNA – Does it Contain the Placebo Secret?

The secrets behind the placebo effect are starting to unravel, with some answers provided in this article.
For such a widely quoted concept it has had surprisingly little investigation.
Please also read the current week’s PSA and ASMI media releases.

Enjoy your read over this week.

Neil Johnston
April 20, 2015

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