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NSW Government seeks unprecedented power to censor and punish health activists and practitioners

Sunday, December 29, 2013 by: REALAustralianSceptics
Tags: Australian government, health activists, censorship

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(NaturalNews) The New South Wales (NSW) Health Care Complaints Committee has convened an inquiry into "The Promotion of False or Misleading Health-Related Information or Practices." The Terms of Reference (ToR) for this inquiry are sobering to say the least and read more like a pharmaceutical wish list than legislation that would benefit Australian citizens.

The Committee, which is responsible for the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), defines information that is not supported by "accepted" medical practice as being "false and misleading" and seeks to punish and silence anyone who either publicly discusses, uses or dispenses non-mainstream remedies.

This inquiry appears to have been motivated by the HCCC's loss to the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) in the Supreme Court in 2012. The HCCC sought to sanction the AVN for providing "dangerous, deceptive and misleading" information simply because that information was in contravention of "accepted medical practices." The Supreme Court stated that the HCCC had acted illegally in either investigating or citing the AVN.

Since that embarrassing loss to a small, unfunded parents' support group, the HCCC has sought increased powers from Parliament specifically for the purpose of attacking the AVN and other individuals and organizations critical of current government health policy.

The REAL purpose of the HCCC

These actions are extremely ironic since the original purpose of the HCCC was to protect the public from dangerous health practitioners. Today, it would appear to an informed observer that the real purpose of this body is to protect dangerous practitioners and practices from the general public.

The HCCC's sordid recent history includes its failure to act in the case of Graeme Reeves, known as the Butcher of Bega. Reeves was accused of mutilating and abusing over 500 women, many of whom filed complaints against him with the HCCC. Over more than a decade, they failed (or refused) to act any of these complaints.

Is the HCCC above the law?

Prior to the HCCC's court loss, that organization was already one of the most powerful in Australia, being immune to either subpoena or GIPA (Freedom of Information) claims.

In 2013 however, the HCCC was granted the right to file complaints against organizations or individuals - without any evidence of harm - and then investigate and punish those they themselves had complained about, making them judge, jury and executioner.

If Parliament grants the HCCC the powers being discussed by this inquiry, then they may be able to stop anyone from discussing, practicing or using natural therapies.

Speak out to protect health rights

Submissions from the public are being accepted until February 7, 2014. Those who are interested in supporting and protecting health rights and freedom of speech are urged to write a brief submission (3-4 paragraphs) explaining why you believe that suppression of health discussions is not in the public interest.

The Committee website contains information on how to make a submission as well as the ToR for the inquiry and other important details.

This is an unprecedented attack on health rights which must be strenuously opposed whether you live in Australia or elsewhere.

References:

HCCC Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into the Promotion of False or Misleading Health-Related Information or Practices:
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au

Australian Vaccination Network:
http://www.avn.org.au

Supreme Court Decision - AVN v NSW HCCC:
http://tinyurl.com/mungvwq

The HCCC, the law and morality:
http://nocompulsoryvaccination.com

Gynecologist accused of mutilating, abusing hundreds of women:
http://www.foxnews.com

'Butcher of Bega' gets two-year minimum sentence for genital mutilation:
http://melindatankardreist.com

About the author:
Sceptics are generally considered to be people who take nothing at face value. They want to see the proof for themselves and don?t accept what they are told unless they can see the evidence with their own eyes.

In today?s society, conflicting opinions, vested interests and the rule of law seem more likely to be governed by an unquestioned, all-powerful scientific elite than by evidence and transparent access to information. There are many who feel that democracies have become scientocracies ? where ?scientists? enact and determine legislation for their own reasons ? rather than the benefit of citizens.

In a climate such as this, it is so important to be a sceptic and to be able to recognise the difference between REAL scepticism and, what is far more common, pseudo (or false) scepticism.

REAL sceptics take responsibility for themselves and their families by doing their own research and making their own choices. These choices are unaffected by popular beliefs and unswayed by the mob mentality evident in so many government and medical community decisions today.

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