Who would have thought when we went back to one of our favourite venues to host @MedicineSocial, we would walk into such a controversy.
For those who know me, I have been running medical education events since 2007, combining my love of clinical medicine with coaching and teaching. As director of CPD Formulations Pty Ltd, I ran a workshop called “Shifting Clocks” sponsored by Servier Laboratories in 2010 at Amora Riverwalk, Richmond, Melbourne. When it came time to expand off what was a highly successful pilot program based on social media and medicine in November 2014 (@SoMebythesea), I went back to the same venue.
At the same time I was confirming the venue, the medical community was opening my eyes,ears and rage to an upcoming tour showcasing what I would have to call a very unethical lady. A lady who expoused for some reason that I am an evil person because I believe in vaccination, I ensure my son is vaccinated, and I also ensure my patients are vaccinated against diseases such as hepatitis B. But she had me at the point where I read feeds and watched videos of her damning my patients who have mental illness as being casualties due to their parents immunising them. With no psychiatric qualifications, she had been able to grab air time and not insinuate but implore that some patients with a mental illness have it because they had been vaccinated.
Gee if only psychiatry was that easy. Of course it isn’t. What I do know about the debate is that children who are not immunised are marginalised in our education systems, unable to make friends, participate in normal activities and more seriously succumb to illnesses I would be so distressed to see my son endure.
So with that knowledge, I contacted Amora Riverwalk and notified them that if they were hosting a gala dinner for these anti-vaccination people, we would not be using their venue. It was a no brainer. I am a mum, a doctor, an educator and above all, pride myself on my ethics. I cannot raise funds to host a venue for doctors in a venue where the gala opening dinner for this group would be held.
So watch this space, I have put my money where my mouth is, spoken on TV, and applaud the first venue in Sydney to see sense. I wonder where @MedicineSocial will roll out. No matter where we are on Saturday 21st March 2015, I will be surrounded by and educating like minded professional doctors that are highly trained and, above all, care for our patients.
Watch the footage from ABC news here http://ab.co/1zTlQUN