Antivaccine nonsense Cancer Medicine Quackery revisited: Misinformed refusal turned up to 11

Back in the day, I used to refer to something I dubbed “misinformed refusal,” a term that refers to how antivaxxers had weaponized “informed consent” by inverting it to frighten parents against vaccinating. In the age of the pandemic, generalizes misinformed refusal to all COVID-19 treatments.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about, a website and effort started by a woman named Greta Crawford in order to “inform”—misinform, actually—the public about the supposed dangers of hospital protocols to treat COVID-19 and how hospitals, not COVID-19, had killed so many people and almost killed her, a conclusion that she came to seemingly because everyone in her family caught COVID-19 but she was the only one who was hospitalized with serious illness from it. Basically, a large part of the website includes anecdotes from COVID-19 patients who became severely ill and were hospitalized (or their surviving family members if they didn’t make it), all complaining about how doctors and hospitals wouldn’t treat them or their loved ones with ivermectin or any other unproven/disproven treatment or quackery and how intubation, remdesivir, intubation, and everything else about conventional medicine, not COVID-19, had harmed them or killed their loved ones. Indeed, I had become aware of the website when I saw this poster in a shop window near the barber shop where I had just gotten a haircut (and where I had happened to walk past last week while heading to a restaurant, only to see that the images are still there):
Narratives like this harm and kill patients.

I try to be as empathetic as I can when seeing stories like these. After all, I’ve lost family members over the course of my life, and I know how painful it is. I also understand that it is a very human trait to want to blame something. If you’re antivaccine and didn’t protect yourself or your loved one against an infectious disease like COVID-19, then there’s likely an element of guilt as well, whether acknowledged or unacknowledged. It’s therefore only natural to look for another cause to blame, and, given how horrible it is to be an ICU patient on a ventilator, particularly a COVID-19 patient who requires chemical paralyzation, sedation, and prone positioning, as well as many invasive procedures, such as chest tubes, central lines, and more. Add to that the isolation procedures in the early part of the pandemic, in which patients all too often died alone, family members unable to visit and lend some comfort. I’ll even admit that during the first year of the pandemic, the possibility that I could end up paralyzed on a ventilator and possibly meet my end that way terrified me, as did the possibility of a loved one ending up this way. So I get it. To some extent, I get it. I also understand that those whose stories are featured on website will likely react very negatively to my characterization of the site. Unfortunately, treatments such as Hulda Clark’s zapper, colloidal silver, and MMS are pure quackery, and if you promote quackery I am going to call it that.

Again, the consistent theme on this website that the COVID-19 victims whose stories were told on the website would have all recovered completely if it hadn’t been for nefarious doctors pushing remdesivir, steroids, vaccines, ventilators, and other treatments. In other words, the consistent narrative of the website is that it was medicine, not COVID-19, that killed all the people whose stories are recounted on this website. As I described, it is a consistent theme of quackery, particularly cancer quackery, which often claims that it is chemotherapy, not cancer, that kills. Unsurprisingly, is also antivaccine as hell, with many of the anecdotes complaining about doctors “pushing vaccines.” Unsurprisingly, the website promotes a lot of quackery for COVID-19, such as Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), ivermectin, Hulda Clark’s parasite cleanse, and even colloidal silver.

I only alluded to it briefly in my previous post, but there’s more to than just the stories blaming conventional medicine for COVID-19 deaths and harm. I had meant to come back to this website, and yesterday morning I saw the perfect excuse. Quack tycoon Joe Mercola featured the founders of and its accompanying websites and in an interview, along with an article promoting their efforts. Mercola portrays them as heroes in his title How to Save Your Life and Those You Love When Hospitalized, and, Mercola being Mercola, generalizes it beyond COVID-19 by listing as one of his bullet points:

Laura Bartlett and Greta Crawford have founded an organization to address the forced treatments patients receive when they’re hospitalized for COVID-19, but the same strategy can be used to protect yourself against other medical hazards as well

Because of course he did.

Before I discuss the purpose of all these testimonials on, let me briefly recap a key concept, that of informed consent. Informed consent, of course, is one of those medical principles that is akin to Mom, apple pie, and the American flag in terms of being viewed as a Good Thing. Here’s a brief description of what informed consent is:

Informed consent is the process in which a health care provider educates a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a given procedure or intervention. The patient must be competent to make a voluntary decision about whether to undergo the procedure or intervention. Informed consent is both an ethical and legal obligation of medical practitioners in the US and originates from the patient’s right to direct what happens to their body. Implicit in providing informed consent is an assessment of the patient’s understanding, rendering an actual recommendation, and documentation of the process. The Joint Commission requires documentation of all the elements of informed consent “in a form, progress notes or elsewhere in the record.” The following are the required elements for documentation of the informed consent discussion: (1) the nature of the procedure, (2) the risks and benefits and the procedure, (3) reasonable alternatives, (4) risks and benefits of alternatives, and (5) assessment of the patient’s understanding of elements 1 through 4.

It is the obligation of the provider to make it clear that the patient is participating in the decision-making process and avoid making the patient feel forced to agree to with the provider. The provider must make a recommendation and provide their reasoning for said recommendation.

In addition, there are exceptions to the paradigm above that mainly occur in situations in which a patient is incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the process and make an informed decision:

Several exceptions to the requirement for informed consent include (1) the patient is incapacitated, (2) life-threatening emergencies with inadequate time to obtain consent, and (3) voluntary waived consent. If the patient’s ability to make decisions is questioned or unclear, an evaluation by a psychiatrist to determine competency may be requested. A situation may arise in which a patient cannot make decisions independently but has not designated a decision-maker. In this instance, the hierarchy of decision-makers, which is determined by each state’s laws, must be sought to determine the next legal surrogate decision-maker. If this is unsuccessful, a legal guardian may need to be appointed by the court.

Informed consent is a bedrock principle of patient autonomy, based on the idea that a competent adult can accept or refuse any medical intervention after being informed of the rationale, risks, and benefits.

All physicians are familiar with informed consent, but especially surgeons (like me) and other proceduralists, who have to obtain informed consent from the patient before every procedure performed. In general, we have to explain the rationale, the expected benefits, potential complications or harms, and alternatives to the proposed procedure. In the case of breast surgery, this discussion can take quite a while, and I document it in the note documenting the initial patient consultation in addition to having the patient sign the hospital’s informed consent form.


Obtaining informed consent in medicine is process that should include: (1) describing the proposed intervention, (2) emphasizing the patient’s role in decision-making, (3) discussing alternatives to the proposed intervention, (4) discussing the risks of the proposed intervention and (5) eliciting the patient’s preference (usually by signature). Discussion of all risks is paramount to informed consent in this context. Most consent includes general risks, risks specific to the procedure, risks of no treatment and alternatives to treatment. Additionally, many consent forms express that there are no guarantees that the proposed procedure will provide a cure to the problem being addressed.

Since long before the pandemic hit, antivaxxers have actively worked to turn the principle of informed consent on its head by emphasizing it as a reason to refuse vaccines. In brief, they massively exaggerate the potential harms (and make a number of such harms up out of whole cloth) while simultaneously downplaying or denying the efficacy of vaccines in preventing the diseases against which they are targeted. The idea is to present a false picture of the true risk-benefit ratio of the vaccines to the point that any competent reasonable adult who believes the false risk-benefit ratio presented by the antivaccine narrative would be foolish to agree to receive the vaccine or let their child receive it. That’s why when I first wrote about antivaxxers and informed consent in 2010, I referred to what antivaxxers do with informed consent as “misinformed consent,” but then I realized that a more accurate term for it as “misinformed refusal.” That is the term I have used ever since.

Antivaxxers used to be the group that most prominently and aggressively used misinformed refusal as a tactic and argument to discourage people from accepting vaccination, but it was a narrative that cancer quacks also used. As you will see, and expand the concept of misinformed refusal to all science-based COVID-19 interventions, and Joe Mercola just amplified it to his millions of readers.

Misinformed refusal on steroids for COVID-19

Let’s see what Joe Mercola has to say about Laura Bartlett and Greta Crawford. Crawford, as you recall, is the founder of; while Bartlett appears to have started what she calls the Hospital Hostage Hotline after having met Crawford. Because Mercola sunsets his articles to his paid Substack 48 hours after they are published (which means that by sometime tomorrow morning his article will be gone), I will quote generously. I have also saved a copy of the article as a PDF. The interview is nearly an hour and a half long, but fortunately there’s a printed transcript, as I don’t have time to watch. Right at the beginning of the interview, Mercola states that the informed consent misinformed refusal templates being promoted by Crawford and Bartlett were based on the Jehovah’s Witness templates for refusing blood and blood products.

First, here’s Mercola with his usual false equivalence:

Welcome everyone. Dr. Mercola, helping you take control of your health. And today we’re going to dive deep into how to protect yourself from one of the highest contributors to the likelihood of you dying prematurely, which is going into the hospital for conventional medical care. We’ve already been well-established. In fact, I was the person who promoted this meme in July of 2000. Not 2020, 2000 – 23 years ago, literally, that doctors are the third leading cause of death. And one of the ways they’re able to do this is to – well, there’s so many ways, but one of the ways is the hospital. And I mean, thank God we have hospitals. They are enormous healing centers and they have saved, no doubt in my mind, millions and millions of people’s lives as a result of that. But they’ve also killed at least that many, I would think.

So, the key here is to understand what the dangers are and take proactive measures to guard yourself and your family, because the issue is, it’s going to be your family members most likely, not even you, that is going to need to know this information. And when you’re in the hospital, you’re not going to be able to do squat because you’re potentially in a coma. And you have to have someone understand this so they can navigate through the system and successfully rescue you from a premature terminal event. So exciting, powerful information. You definitely want to bookmark this and keep it around because you will invariably need it at some time in the future.

The false equivalence is, of course, the claim that hospitals have “killed at least as many” patients as they have saved. Indeed, Mercola’s claim that “one of the highest contributors to the likelihood of you dying prematurely” is “going into the hospital for conventional medical care” is classic quack narrative, in which hospitals and medicine are portrayed as incredibly dangerous, a narrative that goes back to the 1970s and Dr. Robert Mendelsohn’s book Confessions of a Medical Heretic and likely much earlier. It’s a narrative that portrays medicine as a religion and hospitals as temples where patients are sacrificed to that religion. In this, and are doing nothing more than updating an old quack narrative for COVID-19. Consistent with how medical misinformation has been amped up to 11 since the pandemic hit, in this narrative hospitals are now not just killing centers but killing centers that hold you hostage and force you to accept dangerous and ineffective COVID-19 treatments that kill, after taking advantage of people so critically ill with COVID-19 that they have to be on ventilators (which are killing machines, too), sedated and paralyzed, while the families are kept out.

Like all good conspiracy theories, there is a germ of truth that is twisted to serve the conspiracy. In this case, it’s the way that the pandemic forced hospitals to keep most loved ones out in order to protect staff and patients from outside infection. This imperative led to untold numbers of patients dying truly horrible deaths, able only to see their families on iPads or phones. While it is possible, in retrospect, to wonder if hospitals needed to be so strict, one must also remember the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE)—including N95 masks, gowns, gloves—and how overwhelmed the staff were in so many hospitals due to the waves of critically ill patients for whom they were caring. Reasonable discussion and analysis of what we did right and what we did wrong is not what Mercola and his interviewees are about, however. Using the chaotic hospital conditions, particularly during the first year of the pandemic when vaccines were not available, to portray COVID-19 patients as hostages being forced to undergo dangerous and ineffective treatments—while, of course, being denied the nontoxic effective treatments like ivermectin that “They” don’t want you to know about—is what they are about.

Greta Crawford starts the narrative:

Well, my name is Greta Crawford and I started a website and created a website called This came after I was in the hospital with COVID. My family got COVID, but unfortunately, I was the one that went to the hospital. In the process of going to the hospital, I was denied informed consent and was completely unaware of some of the things they were doing to me. I was given five rounds of remdesivir, which nearly took my life and did not even know that I was being poisoned at the time.

Mercola asks her if she has long term kidney damage as a result, to which Crawford replies:

I actually do not. I’ve done a lot of detox. Every day, I do detox and a lot of prayer. And I don’t feel that I’ve had any type of damage. I feel okay right now. But as far as getting things checked out by a medical doctor, I have not done that yet. But right now, I’m leaning more on my faith.

So, but during the time in the hospital, I went from thinking I was going to go home after I got oxygen to actually feeling like that I was going to die. I was almost certain I was going to die after being given just the first dose of remdesivir. Again, once I got out of the hospital, I realized what had happened to me and the constant push for the vaccine in the hospital, the harassment for not getting vaxxed, and the fact that I was given medication without my knowledge at all, which led me to start the website to not only inform people about what was going on, but a platform to allow other victims who were not as fortunate as me. Many of them, the majority of them, did not make it out alive.

And so, it’s a platform for them to share their story. We have over 250 stories on there about what they faced in the hospital, and we really wanted to get this information out there to the public, but we also wanted to give a solution, not just to scare people. And that’s where I ended up meeting Laura. And Laura, you can take it from there.

Actually, the majority did make it out alive; that is, if you count all hospitalized COVID-19 patients. It is, however, true that the mortality of patients who required mechanical ventilation was greater than 50%, but only a minority of patients were ill enough to require mechanical ventilation. Basically, just like critical pulmonary illness before COVID-19, if your lungs are injured enough that you can’t breathe on your own without a ventilator, it’s a marker for severe disease and a much higher likelihood of dying.

The interesting thing is that Bartlett started out as an advocate of inhaled steroids to treat COVID-19:

And so, before I met Greta at the beginning of COVID, early 2020, I started helping my brother, Dr. Richard Bartlett, who had a protocol utilizing budesonide, inhaled budesonide steroid, as part of his protocol to treat COVID early. And we also found it very effective once people were in the hospital to help reverse the COVID, and also the scarring of the lungs and the inflammation of the lungs. And even people on ventilators were able to – not all, but there are instances where it even helped people who were on ventilators long as 30 days come off the ventilator and go home. So, I was helping him get that message out early 2020. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nurse. I’m just somebody who could help get that known around the world. My background is in media PR.

And so, he asked me if I could help him and I did. And within 24 hours of him asking, we had a local story, a local affiliate in West Texas cover it. And then it just – he went viral on YouTube with one interview in Dallas. And I was just tasked with helping him get the message out. And in the process, people who knew my brother, knew me, started reaching out to both of us with stories that they were in the hospital and they were having a hard time getting the doctor to respect their right to informed consent. It was an overwhelming number of instances where people just felt like they were being bullied or coerced, that their right to try budesonide, for instance, was just dismissed.

Of course, steroids, both intravenous and inhaled, were widely used early in the pandemic. As I liked to point out at the time, the question of whether using steroids in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), of which COVID-19 viral pneumonia is an example, has been a longstanding question in critical care medicine, one that intensivists used to debate back when I was a surgical resident in the 1990s. These days, a recent meta-analysis suggests that that steroids results in a modest benefit in the treatment of non-COVID ARDS, although “questions still remain regarding the dosage, optimal corticosteroid agent, and treatment duration in patients with ARDS.” As for COVID-19, a viral pneumonia, it was less clear whether steroids would be beneficial given their immunosuppressive effect, which could theoretically worsen the infection. No benefit was seen in COVID-19 ARDS. The authors note this while contrasting their result with current recommendations:

The effect of corticosteroid treatment is different between non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 patients. In non-COVID-19 ARDS patients, corticosteroids can reduce mortality in the experimental group, while no improvements in mortality were observed in patients with COVID-19. Similar results were obtained by Baek et al. [45,46]. However, this finding conflicts with the current recommendation of steroid treatment for ARDS caused by COVID-19 [47]. The heterogeneous results may be caused by the disease severity and the different types of glucocorticoids used in patients with COVID-19.

I don’t want to dwell on this too much, other than to say that, although more evidence is needed, steroids probably don’t help most severely ill COVID-19 patients and that Bartlett was (and is) clearly an evangelist because her brother treated COVID=19 patients early in the pandemic with budesonide and saw what he thought were encouraging results. It wasn’t a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial, though; so the potential for confirmation bias was very strong, particularly given how early in the pandemic it had not yet become clear what the likelihood of recovery was on one’s own, but none of that stopped him from finding his way into press reports about budesonide portraying it as a “silver bullet.” In any event, Bartlett set up her hotline:

And it was almost as if informed consent didn’t exist. But in fact, it never went away. Even during the COVID shielding for hospitals, informed consent between the doctor and the patient never went away. You always had the right to informed consent. And so that’s where my work back in 2020 started. And in the process, I realized that, since there were so many calls that I was receiving with people reaching out for help, I thought, “Well, why doesn’t somebody come up with a way for people to quickly access some information of what their rights are and their patient rights?” And so, I started a hotline, a nationwide hotline, called the Hospital Hostage Hotline. And it’s still in effect. I still get calls from all over the country. And I’ve been able to help people who went in for even non-COVID reasons like a urinary tract infection that quickly was diagnosed as COVID and they were being pushed towards a protocol and told they couldn’t leave, for instance, the hospital. And they needed to know they could, that they always had the right to leave AMA, against medical advice, if that’s what they chose.

They also had the right to either consent or not consent to things and it should be respected. And I realized that one of the biggest tools for getting that informed consent notice to the doctor was not to just verbally say it, but to have it in writing. And these aren’t my original ideas. I actually had a hospital insider reach out seeing what I was doing, somebody who had been in the system and knew how to navigate the system at a high level in administration, give me some tips and tools on how to navigate the hospital system to make sure that informed consent was not only documented and then served in a way that, it was delivered effectively to get into the electronic medical record, but also, what their basic patient rights were and how to advocate for them.

And, later:

These are things I heard throughout the last couple of years. “I feel like I’m a prisoner. They won’t let me leave.” But in fact, they always had the right, their patient right, to leave a hospital whenever they chose to. It’s not up to the doctor when they can leave. They have to make that medical choice for themself, whether or not they feel like they can leave. And I always told them, “If you want to leave, you feel like you can leave, leave. If you change your mind, you can go back to a hospital. Say something changes in your health condition that warrants going back to a hospital, you can do that. Either that hospital or another hospital. You can always get transferred to another hospital. If you don’t like what’s happening in this hospital, the care that you’re receiving, you can transfer to a different hospital or a different level of care.” But there are options. And people were coerced, lied to and manipulated during this, and they still are.

It’s actually a myth that leaving the hospital against medical advice (AMA) will result in your insurance company not paying for your hospital stay. Indeed, one study in 2012 found no correlation between leaving AMA and the disallowance of payment by the insurance company, while also finding that many residents and physicians believe that leaving AMA will lead to the insurance company refusing to pay. Of course, Bartlett includes anecdotes about doctors telling patients that if they leave AMA insurance might not pay for their stay. Of course, to Bartlett, this is evidence of the conspiracy, that it’s all about profit, not science-based medicine, and that the “threats” are encouraged, rather than being the result of a widely held misunderstanding, again weaponizing a real problem by misattributing the reason for the problem as being not an urban myth that too many doctors believe (and that I once believed), but an intentional policy:

The bottom line is, it seems like, in my opinion, money has been a big factor. Profit has been a big factor in a lot of suffering. Patients were afraid to leave because they were told, like in the instance of a gentleman that I was helping in New Jersey who went in for a urinary tract infection. That was his reason for going to the hospital. He was an elderly man, didn’t know why he was feeling the way he was feeling. This was early 2020 and he was treated for that. And they quickly tested him for COVID and started him on that road towards fast tracking him, in my opinion, towards a ventilator. And they told him flat out, “If you leave, none of this will be covered by insurance.” Just like you said, Dr. Mercola. So, that was a big factor.

Let’s move on to what’s in the template for this informed consent misinformed refusal:

As mentioned, you can customize your Caregivers and Consent document any way you like. But to give people a starting point, the template, available on, includes things like:
  • “I do not consent to the use of medications without my being informed of each medication’s risks, benefits and alternatives before they are ordered. Only after that information is communicated shall I choose to either grant consent or to not grant consent for each and every medication that is ordered.”
  • “I do not consent to receiving any vaccine or booster for COVID-19 or COVID-19 variant.”
  • “I do not consent to receiving the seasonal flu vaccine.”
  • “I request and consent to the use of 1 mg of budesonide via nebulizer every 4 to 6 hours for COVID-19 or COVID-19 variant diagnosis with respiratory issues.”
If you want to, you could change the verbiage to state that you do not consent to ANY vaccine. If you have allergies, add that to the list. Personally, I would recommend adding the following dietary notice:
  • “I do not consent to receiving ANY processed food, such as high-fructose corn syrup or seed oils. The only acceptable oil for me is butter, ghee, beef tallow or coconut oil. Acceptable forms of protein would be eggs, lamb, bison, beef or non-farmed seafood; but they must not be prepared with seed oils. If the hospital is unable to provide this food for me, my family or friends will bring it for me.
  • Additionally, I do not consent to not being able to take my normal supplements while in the hospital.”
I would strongly recommend that you integrate this additional clause because it’s a stealth form of abuse. These kinds of foods can only impair your effort to get well, no matter what your problem is. You may also want to add a notice saying you do not consent to receive blood donations from COVID-19 vaccinated donors, and that all blood donations must be from donors confirmed to have not received any COVID-19 vaccines.

Regarding nebulized budesonide, I can only note that physicians are not generally obligated to provide a treatment that they do not themselves consider effective and safe. Patients can ask all they want for budesonide, but doctors are not obligated to provide it unless it is considered a standard of care. Of course, true informed consent means that doctors will indeed go through all the standard-of-care options for treatment, their pros and cons, their risks and benefits, and then a collaborative decision will be made by the patient with the help of the doctor. Basically, there is no need for such a statement about a treatment that is widely considered a standard of care.

Similarly, patients can ask for all the quackery that they want, like ivermectin for COVID-19, but doctors are not obligated to provide it. Even Mercola acknowledges this. It is true that there have been a number of lawsuits trying to force hospitals to allow patients to use unproven or disproven treatments for COVID-19, but they are generally losing propositions. Of course, from my perspective, the real point of these efforts is to frighten medical staff, fear monger about medicine, and sell quackery like MMS and colloidal silver, not true “informed consent.”

Crawford claims:

What we’ve experienced using these documents is a complete change in the attending physician, from being aggressive and maybe trying to push you, to being very helpful and efficient. Once they receive these documents, they just do a 180. As a matter of fact, one patient’s brother told me he’s getting treated better than he’s ever been treated at a hospital before.

As a physician myself, I simply note that, yes, learning that you are dealing with a highly litigious patient will indeed tend to make doctors very, very cautious and deferential. Not wanting to get sued, they will be very careful. What Mercola fails to mention is that they will also make sure to dot all their “i’s” and cross all their “t’s” in the medical record, detailed and rigorous documentation of every discussion, intervention, and rationale for interventions being generally the best defense.

Mercola even brags about the above threat:

Again, having this document in your medical record virtually guarantees that they cannot harm you by doing something you don’t agree with. Of course, some psychopath might ignore your directives, but they’ll have to pay a hefty price, as they’re guaranteed to lose a malpractice suit and be stripped of their medical license. The legal consequences are so severe that the person doing it would have to be beyond irrational.

I would also point out that having such a document in your medical record virtually guarantees that your physicians will hesitate and might even consult the hospital attorney and ethics board before doing anything. That is, of course, a feature, not a bug of this entire enterprise, as everyone agrees:

Dr. Joseph Mercola:
You have a large number of people who signed this document, examples that you said. And I’m wondering if anyone has used this when the physician has violated their consent and they’ve been prosecuted. It went up to the medical board or had their license removed.

Laura Bartlett:
Not yet. No, this is novel. This is new. But I’m telling you that this definitely puts them on notice.

Dr. Joseph Mercola:

The idea is to instill fear in doctors more than anything else, all while supporting the typical quack narrative that medicine is deadly, at the behest of government hospitals are intentionally trying to kill COVID-19 patients for profit, and that there are cheap, nontoxic “cures” that “They” don’t want you to know about:

The Delta Variant just happened to coincide with the vaccine distribution. Although kept quiet, it is known that many vaxxed patients end up in the hospital with reactions to the shot. One thing that had to be done to keep this pandemic in play was to increase the actual death count of patients. Aside from going to citizens’ homes and outright murdering them, the easiest way was to have them walk into the hospitals where trusted doctors could administer poison to each victim.

Even though the vax has caused deaths and injuries that are suppressed or not reported, many people are now aware and not willing to get the shot. The government is able to scare the public into believing that Covid is deadly by paying hospitals to kill off patients. Then doctors and hospitals proclaim that the unvaxxed are the ones dying and everyone needs to receive the shot to survive. The truth is the unvaxxed are targeted for death by the hospitals and the hospitals don’t report that just as many vaxxed are hospitalized and dying as well.

There are simple ways to combat Covid at home with drugs like Ivermectin, HCQ, Budesonide, even CBD. These known, effective treatments are being suppressed so that patients will be forced to go to hospitals and ultimately murdered.

Through Remdesivir, paralytic drugs, and ventilators, the hospitals knowingly put patients to death so they can earn money and increase the fear of Covid.

That’s some weapons-grade conspiracy mongering right there. Misinformed refusal on steroids and generalized to all medicine

No physician will deny that patients have autonomy and that a competent adult—or designated spokespeople for children or adults who can no longer advocate for themselves—should have the right to refuse any medical treatment after being informed of its risks and benefits, as well as the alternatives available and their risks and benefits. That isn’t what misinformed refusal is about, nor has it ever been. In the case of vaccines, I noted over a decade ago that misinformed refusal was all about painting a false picture of the risk-benefit ratio of vaccines in order to portray them in the worse light possible and thereby discourage vaccine-hesitant parents from vaccinating their children. For parents who go beyond being vaccine-hesitant, a secondary purpose was to sell quackery, such as “vaccine detoxes,” and “autism biomed” to treat children whose autism was falsely attributed to vaccines. is nothing more than a vastly expanded update of the same tactic. It’s doing the same thing, not just for vaccines, but for all conventional science-based COVID-19 treatments—and not just for COVID-19 treatments, but for all science-based medical treatments, period. It is the weaponization of informed consent, which is twisted into misinformed refusal turned into a set of legal documents intended to instill in physicians fear for their medical licenses and in hospitals and physicians fear of expensive lawsuits. Truly, in the age of the pandemic everything old is new again in terms of antivaccine tactics and tropes, but more than that. Everything old is new again and then cranked up to 11.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

29 replies on “ revisited: Misinformed refusal turned up to 11”

We quit using it over a year ago when, wait for it, high quality evidence proved it wasn’t helpful. You know? The kind of evidence you love to scoff at? The kind of thing you accuse us of NOT DOING (e.g. following the evidence.)

By the way-I never thought it worked. We only gave it because the idiots in Trump’s “response” announced it was “Standard of care.” Go look it up if you don’t believe me. Don’t follow standard of care and you find yourself in court.

This might shock you but I also always scoffed at it because of the price tag.

Unfortunately, I saw this first hand in one of the last COVID patients I had to direct admit to the unit from the ED. She was drowning in her own secretions.

We used budesonide early on but have now moved to dex (That chance came mid 2020, I think?) Daughter was all up in arms about steroids and how we were trying to poison her; demanding we give her high dose vitamins C and K, yada, yada; refusing the vent because “reasons.”

I finally told her: “If I don’t intubate your mother now she will be stone dead in ten minutes and all the vitamins in the world won’t change that.” In the time this nonsense took I watched her sats go from 86% to 74% on an oxymizer mask and we pretty much had suction going nonstop to keep her airway clear.

Fortunately, the patient’s POA (her sister) showed up and this circus ended. The sister told me the daughter had “Taken a basic EMT course” about two decades before but was a receptionist at a concrete contractor and considered herself the family medical expert, bombarding all of them with covid misinformation and bogus cancer claims.

As an aside – I never looked up where she got the vitamin K baloney from. I just figured it was loose word association about “clots;” akin to some of the knuckleheads who wax intellectual here in the comments.

As far as I understand it the steroids were shown to work. I even purchased some to have on hand during Delta along with fluvoxamine and ivermectin. I had a mild case that resolved relatively quickly though.

As far as I understand it the steroids were shown to work. I even purchased some to have on hand

This should be amusing.

Were John’s steroids purchased from the same website offering 59-cent Viagra pills?

Vitamin K is a new one, isn’t it? I wonder where they got it, especially given the opposition to it in the newborn context from anti-vaccine activists.

I’m glad your patient got a chance.

That was my thought when I read it. I remember when I was pregnant with my last child – I had to have vitamin K shots (only one, I think) and it was like someone injected me with liquid fire. I didn’t want that for my infant….until I went to the library (long before Internet and Google) and read about it and why it was given. So the vaxholes now WANT vitamin K? Is there ever any rhyme or reason to their “logic?”

“The purpose of this review is to summarize available evidence of the synergistic interplay between vitamins D and K on bone and cardiovascular health. ”
Curing COVID is non mentioned.

vitamin k helps vitamin d absorption which is linked to better covid outcomes

Did you tear anything on that long reach for a nothing burger?

Dexa works great – I have seen it work on a coworker of mine. He was laying flat unable to move and after being given Dexa he recovered instantly. It also may help prevent long Covid.

…he recovered instantly

Once again, things that never happened for $1000 from Igor.

Igor babbled, “…after being given Dexa he recovered instantly.

Was it like a “miracle”?
Like Pierre Kory testified to an idiotic and credulous Senate committee Ivermectin was?
Kory testified about IVM – “These data show that ivermectin is effectively a “miracle drug” against COVID-19”

So many “miracle cures” and so little evidence for even a hint of a whiff of an effect…

Yes, the effect of Dexa was like a miracle. I visited him whem he was sick with Covid (because I was recovering from Covid so I was not worried about getting infected).

He was not paralyzed, he just felt so bad that he would not move, just to claridfy myself.

Have it occurred to you all patients are not similar ? If something worked with someone you know, it may not work in other cases. Thus RCTs, testimony of ten thousands,

It’s all clear now.
It wasn’t the Dexa that cured him…
It was Igor’s visit!!!!!111!!

He was feeling so bad he wouldn’t move and then Igor visited and, like magic, he felt better!
It was like a muricle!

That’s the story line, isn’t it, Igor?

I suppose if Igor would visit me, I would try to get away as soon as possible, no matter how sick I felt.

Why do your stories always follow the same format? There’s always a coworker or a unspecified relative that was very sick and then something that doesn’t do anything to treat the disease they were suffering from is used and they instantly recover?

You never have the miracle sure take time to work, there’s never a slow recovery, it’s always an instant turn around. It’s be more believable if it didn’t read like you were using a template for these. Even the details you add when pressed to clarify don’t make sense – why were you allowed to visit a hospitalized coworker? And why do so many of your relatives, friends and coworkers end up deathly ill until your preferred miracle cure of the moment is administered?

Mix things up a little please.

Since vitamin K is a rather important participant in blood coagulation, shouldn’t it actually increase the risk of clots (assuming it has any effect on the clotting associated with covid at all)?

I think it just gets dumped by the excretory system.

One of the other posters is Peds, if memory serves, and might be able to confirm there can be a problem with high vitamin K in infants but I’ve never seen it.

I agree, it was a weird thing to be fixated on. My guess is she read vitamin k and clot somewhere and assumed she now “knew” it stopped clots :rolleyes:

Funny side note-she is one of two patients I have ever heard of who demanded a medical record edit when she read what the consulting pulmonologist had to say about her “Theories.” I haven’t looked but I’m betting it never got changed. Haha

‘How to up the ante and attempt to appear knowledgeable ‘ for budding Igorites.


but hope to capitalize on herd immunity to contain the outbreak.

Wouldn’t that be flock immunity?

I sure hope it works. I’ve seen Andean condors in the wild and they are just astonishing birds — by far the biggest birds I have ever seen in flight. They float on thermals for many minutes at a time, not flapping at all. They’re ungainly close up, but just beautiful when flying.

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