Asking questions, rejecting censorship and upholding ethics
HART was set up when a group of medics, academics and other professionals came together over shared concerns about COVID-19 policy. After the shock of March 2020, when so much was done in a rush of panic, a worrying trend began to emerge — a total lack of scientific discussion on mainstream media. With democratic debate in short supply, HART sought to provide access to trustworthy information on the developing crisis.
Proper scientific debate is about asking complex questions, having difficult conversations and backing up arguments with data and evidence. Good science relies on robust debate. And yet questioning the government narrative has meant censorship, risking jobs and putting reputations on the line. Lord Sumption has described how critics had been “subjected to an extraordinarily unpleasant campaign of personal abuse”.
HART believes in freedom of speech and encourages its members, as well as non-members who it also regularly invites into its conversations, to question everything. Both members and non-members have a wide range of private opinions and we enjoy healthy debate where no topic is off the table — but we take great care in our public communications to only present information and views that can be backed up by compelling evidence.
A topic that we regularly return to is the important wisdom of the Hippocratic Oath which states “First Do No Harm”. All interventions carry some risk of harm, so we have a duty to act with caution and proportionality. Lockdowns, for example, have been used now, on and off, for 16 months — and HART is concerned that we are yet to see the published evidence that they work, or in fact any sort of systematic attempts to evaluate their broader consequences for population health.
HART is also passionate about upholding the established principles of proper, informed consent. Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was understood that to ensure ethical integrity, individuals should always be encouraged, consciously and rationally, to weigh up the pros and cons to themselves of accepting a medical treatment. And yet highly coercive measures have been employed to compel people into having an experimental COVID-19 vaccine with no long-term safety data. People have been threatened with loss of liberty, loss of income, social exclusion and the continued suspension of their fundamental human rights. How is this acceptable in a liberal democracy?
We make no apologies for asking questions, rejecting censorship and upholding long-established ethics. Our self-funded group of highly-qualified professionals will keep on volunteering our time, for as long as is needed, to get some much needed balance and perspective back on the agenda.