As misinformation about the coronavirus and its various vaccines continues to saturate both social media and social circles, Belgium’s Order of Physicians is cracking down on doctors contributing to the spread of conspiracies.
“People are already doubting, and if you add cheap crap to that, people are going to be more and more doubtful about whether or not they should be vaccinated, and we’re never going to get rid of the virus,” Michel Deneyer, vice-president of the order, said on VRT this morning.
Currently, any doctor found to be participating in the spread of misinformation regarding Covid-19 and vaccines risks a suspension.
“You are no longer allowed to practice your profession and you do not earn anything anymore. Those are serious punishments and, moreover, you lose your clientele because they have to go elsewhere,” said Deneyer.
But some feel that the punishment should be stricter, and include the revoking of a doctor’s license to practice.
Roel Van Giel, president of the general practitioners association Domus Medica, agreed that there’s a problem with doctors contributing to the conspiracy theories circulating on social media.
“I have also seen general practitioners saying on Facebook that there are tiny nanobots in these vaccines so they can control us. You don’t think it’s possible, but unfortunately there are doctors spreading that message,” Van Giel said.
Many doctors and other front line workers have died from the coronavirus after contracting it from the infected patients they’re working to save, which makes Deneyer and other doctors especially angry at those in their profession who choose to spread false information reading the virus.
Deneyer says that the Order of Physicians is obliged to take strong action against the antivax doctors “for those who have given their lives in the fight against corona.”
He suspects that those who do contribute to the spread of conspiracy theories do so in order to stand out and get attention, and that ultimately, working as a doctor requires a belief in science.
“If don’t believe that, you cannot work as a doctor,” said Deneyer.