As a group of physicians and health professionals, we’re concerned about the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on our patients, our families, our state and our nation. We believe in the principle of do no harm and in preserving the freedom of both patient and practitioner to choose the best course of treatment. We support the principle of informed consent and the free exchange of medical research and clinical data between providers and patients and the population in general. We advocate early treatment protocols with safe and proven medications to keep patients healthy and out of hospitals. We all have the right to informed consent to choose the best and safest course of treatment — it’s one of the hallmarks of civilized medicine and anything to the contrary must be confronted and eradicated.
Our patients and our profession face unparalleled risk from misguided medical research and biological warfare and from media misinformation. And while the corrupt regulatory agencies have succumbed to greed, we seek to preserve life and truth and the role of the Good Doctor for this and future generations.
Our hope is that the Medical Association of the State of Alabama would encourage physicians to return to the foundational principles of good medical practice. Cultural and governmental shifts have resulted in ideology and politics becoming the primary drivers and arbiters of the practice of medicine rather than sound reasoning and honest science. The handling of the Coronavirus outbreak has been dominated by groupthink and confirmation bias. Medical progress has always depended on every physician resisting the Siren call to rigidly conform to the conventional wisdom when the offered solutions no longer fit the narrative or solve the problems for our patients. Rather than holding up such great examples like Simmelweis or Osler, our physicians were strongly encouraged to blindly follow the dictates of bureaucrats who did not have real-time patient contact or for that matter even actual ongoing laboratory bench-level exposure.
Primum non nocere
Colleagues, what we have outlined is not good for the advancement of Medical Science and the attainment of the best care for our patients. The only way to avoid confirmation bias in scientific research is to deliberately seek evidence that would contradict the accepted approach or hypothesis to determine if it can withstand the test. Every effort should be made to avoid fallacious reasoning which always tends to surface when emotions are high during a crisis. Furthermore, when ideology and politics are added in the mix, then fallacies abound. Throughout this coronavirus debacle, we have seen the genetic fallacy, faulty appeal to authority, ad hominem attacks, hasty generalizations, equivocation as well as the either/or fallacy. Sadly, we have also encountered propaganda including an appeal to fear, bandwagon, repetition and exigency. Most recently there have been increasing instances of using enticements and shaming as well as coercion to obtain compliance. The aim of concerned doctors is to combat those who push political and economic agendas at the expense of science and quality healthcare solutions.