WHAT IS INFORMED CONSENT?
The Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School states that informed consent occurs when there is agreement to an interaction or action rendered with knowledge of relevant facts, such as the risks involved or any available alternatives. Per the American Medical Association, informed consent to medical treatment is fundamental in both ethics and law. Patients have the right to receive information and ask questions about recommended treatments so that they can make well-considered decisions about care. Successful communication in the patient-physician relationship fosters trust and supports shared decision making.
MY EXPERTISE WITH INFORMED CONSENT
The practice of informed consent was an integral part of my 30-year career in healthcare. As a nurse, I informed and counseled patients. As a front-line manager, I educated and supported my staff. As a senior leader, I ensured that the nursing staff executed best practices and complied with the appropriate government regulations and policies. To demonstrate the scale and scope of experience, I have been responsible for budgets up to $30M and led teams up to 200 people.
WHAT HAPPENED DURING COVID-19?
The freedom of individuals and parents to make voluntary health decisions for themselves and their own children was usurped by perceived COVID-19 health measures promised for the common good. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to remind us of the coordinated assault on our health freedoms over the last 2 years.
Experimental COVID-19 “Vaccine” Mandates
The COVID-19 experimental “vaccine” was approved by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization which requires informed consent.
FDA must ensure that recipients of the vaccine under an EUA are informed, to the extent practicable given the applicable circumstances, that FDA has authorized the emergency use of the vaccine, of the known and potential benefits and risks, the extent to which such benefits and risks are unknown, that they have the option to accept or refuse the vaccine, and of any available alternatives to the product. Typically, this information is communicated in a patient “fact sheet.” The FDA posts these fact sheets on our website.
Yet people were forced to take it to keep a job or attend college, including me. My employer required all employees to receive the experimental vaccine or lose their job. If informed consent would have been practiced, I would have said “I do not want the experimental vaccine because I know there was accelerated validation, the drug makers said they would only produce it if they were indemnified from the consequences, and the mortality rates were clear as to the number of people and the defined categories of people who were most affects. My age, gender, and health all indicated a positive outcome to well over 99% of the people who contracted COVID”. To continue to provide patient care, I reluctantly took the “vaccine”.
I regret that decision but was not the only employee put in that difficult situation. West Michigan furniture manufacturers MillerKnol, Haworth and Steelcase mandated that all employees be fully “vaccinated” by Dec. 8, 2021. Grand Valley State University still mandates that employees and students be “vaccinated” against COVID-19.
In September 2020, the Ottawa County Health Department issued an order requiring all Grand Valley State University (GVSU) students living in on-campus housing or living in off-campus housing in Allendale Township, Michigan, to remain in their designated residence at all times for 14 days beginning September 17, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. and ending October 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Students may not return to their home address unless for an emergency.
The Ottawa County Health Department shut down Libertas Christian School in October 2020 for refusing to put in place a mask requirement. The health department claimed that the school was witnessing an “ongoing outbreak” of COVID-19, even though not a single student tested positive for the virus.
The Ottawa County Health Department continued to require school mask mandates into the 2021 – 22 school year, despite the position from concerned parents and elected leaders stating that they did not want unelected health administrators forcing them to mask their children. The majority of Michigan counties removed the mask mandates, and the state did not require them.
WHAT WILL I DO?
As county commissioner, I will protect parental rights and personal freedoms above perceived health measures promised for the common good, recognizing civil liberties are not suspended in times of crisis. The Constitution and state law affirm the care of a child is a parental right—not a government right or responsibility. I will protect the freedom of individuals and parents to make voluntary health decisions for themselves and their own children (including masks, social distancing, mandatory testing, vaccination, etc.), free of coercion, in the workplace, schools and public spaces. I will protect religious freedom in regard to health measures, to include the free operation of churches and private schools without threat or intimidation from the government.
I reject mandated business closures. I value every job as “essential,” and will protect the right of individuals to operate and/or be employed by their place of business without threat or intimidation. I reject mandated school closures, social distancing, masking of children, quarantining of school children (exclusion from school), which deprive children of freedom, education, development of speech and social skills, important life moments, and contribute to the degradation of their mental health and increased suicide risks.