Bill against sectarian abuses: does the adopted text intend to muzzle medicine?

Bill against sectarian abuses: does the adopted text intend to muzzle medicine?

This February 14, the National Assembly adopted at first reading a text to combat sectarian abuses, and the creation of a new offense of “provoking the abstention of medical care”, apparently targeting charlatans. But the medical association for the defense of ethics sees in this framework the threat of pluralism necessary for medicine.

Charlatans exist. In the range of care available, particularly online, there are some who offer unconventional methods (and without any proof) to replace treatments for wandering patients. It is to counter this phenomenon that the National Assembly adopted at first reading, Wednesday February 14, a text to combat sectarian abuses, particularly on the internet.

Surprisingly slow adoption for a minor phenomenon

But as Europe Info announces, it took two votes to obtain the approval of a majority of deputies on the creation of a new offense of “provocation to abstaining from care” medical. An adoption considered sluggish.

The opposition coalition had in fact rejected the article on Tuesday evening. The LFI, LR and EN deputies denounced a threat to “public liberties” and for the “whistleblowers” who criticize the pharmaceutical industry. Despite the protests, Renaissance MP Sacha Houlié requested a new deliberation on Wednesday, on behalf of the law committee of which he is president. And the return match bore fruit.

The argument adopted was individual risk : “Faced with the 2.0 gurus and their false promises of curing cancer with “lemon juice”, the executive demanded this new offense which will punish “provocation” to the abandonment of care “by means of pressure or repeated maneuvers “, exposing to “serious consequences” for health” relate Europe Info.

A threat to pluralism in medicine?

But between the lines, the medical community seems to be concerned about a much more global scope than that announced by this bill. Dr Leila Gofti, secretary of the medical association for the defense of ethics and patients’ rights (AMDDDM) contacted by TipsForWomens, explains to us the various points which upset the community in this decision:

“The first problem is the sincerity of the stated objective. It is difficult to understand why there was an urgency to create this bill on these sectarian excesses, when we already had a well-made law in Europe, and a whole legal arsenal to condemn erroneous health claims, control, or endangering the lives of others. On the other hand, however, the State does not find the time to legislate on real priorities, such as closure of emergencies, inequality of access to care” she regrets.

But according to the AMDDDM, under the cover of a fight against sectarian excesses, it is the entire principle of medicine which is threatened and which must now walk on eggshells.

“For the medical community, this law is perceived as a Trojan horse. That is to say, it becomes difficult to make people hear a voice other than that of the accepted community. And that is problematic. Since medicine is made up of a diversity of opinions, of different sensibilities, of people who can oppose each other, without offering delusional opinions. There are doctors who do not agree with each other, which is normal, but now, this law suggests that there is authorized speech. When pluralism is needed.”

From one drift to another, ethics questions

Ultimately, what the AMDDM particularly points out is the risk of moving towards a state where medicine will have to respond according to private interests.

“Under the cover of fighting against sectarian excesses, of fighting against gurus, what we are judging is a part of the medical and scientific community which does not validate the use that is made of scientific data” maintains the Doctor Gofti.

At a time when political and pharmaceutical lobbies seem more influential than gurus in the medical community, the expert wonders:

“What upsets us is that this law will anchor a political process, which is no longer there to protect public health, but to organize a legislative arsenal increasingly favorable to the interference of private interests in the public health management.