Australian health authorities are threatening to prosecute a number of nurses and midwives, after it was discovered they have been preaching anti-vaccination propaganda on social media.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Nurses and Midwifery Board of Australia is aware of a “small number” of such cases and has issued a warning to anyone in the profession peddling information that “contradict the best available scientific evidence”.
“Any published anti-vaccination material and/or advice which is false, misleading or deceptive which is being distributed by a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife … could result in prosecution,” the board says in its new position statement on the issue.
The Telegraph spoke to Melbourne midwife, Belinda Henkel, who has shared several anti-vaccination posts on her Facebook account.
Asked if she was prepared to remove the offending material, she responded: “No, f**k them.”
Frankel is currently under practising restrictions by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority and will be required to undertake an educational program on “evidence based research”.
“I’m not removing anything that I’ve got on the site,” she told the paper, “but I’ve agreed to acquiesce to AHPRA’s request and I have said that I will give unequivocal support to the vaccination regime that we have.”
A post shared by midwife Belinda Henkel. Image: Facebook.
Another nurse from Murwillumbah District Hospital who posted similar anti-vaccination articles to her Facebook page, said she would take them down to ensure she would keep her job.
But insisted she had personally witness the detrimental effects of immunisation, including the mental decline of woman who received the cervical cancer vaccination.
“I don’t know what the stats are on it (but) for me that’s a concern," she told The Daily Telegraph.
"Certainly the stuff I’ve put (on Facebook) I think is from quite reputable people who’ve done some research.”