USask suspends doctor calling for ‘informed consent’ for mRNA vaccines

The University of Saskatchewan has suspended Dr. Francis Christian, who says he is pro-vaccine, after he questions the lack of informed consent for the mRNA vaccine. Slavo Kutas / Global News

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) has suspended a Saskatoon doctor who spoke at a rally last week calling for informed consent before administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children.

Dr. Francis Christian, who is a practicing surgeon in Saskatoon, says that he is a pro-vaccine physician.

“I am only too aware of the great scourges of mankind, including smallpox, that have been eliminated or made innocuous by vaccination,” he said.

“I am also pro-vaccine for my own family, including myself.”

However, he called for a pause on administering the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12.

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According to Saskatchewan government documents, only children aged 12 require parental consent for a vaccine.

Those aged 13 to 17 can legally consent to be immunized or refuse immunization as they are considered by the province to be a “mature minor.”

Last Thursday, Christian said that in medicine, there is a “sacrosanct principle” of informed consent before administering “any kind of drug or treatment or intervention.”

“Before the vaccine is rolled out to children, both children and parents must know the risks of mRNA vaccines to children, any benefit to children and any alternatives to vaccines,” he said in a statement.

“The principle of informed consent is being consistently violated in this province for the mRNA vaccine for our kids. I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

He said, at a minimum, parents and children need to be made aware of eight points, including that mRNA is an experimental vaccine design that only has “interim authorization” in Canada and that “COVID-19 does not pose a threat to our kids.”

The University of Saskatchewan has taken action against Christian.

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In a statement to Global News on Wednesday, the university said Christian has been suspended while his actions and public statements are reviewed.

“While the review takes place, as per USask policies, Dr. Christian has been suspended from his faculty responsibilities, including his two academic administrative roles within the Department of Surgery,” said Dr. Preston Smith, Dean of the College of Medicine.

“He is not in the position of director of surgical humanities or in the position of the director of patient safety and quality improvement which, of course, is also a position that overlaps with his role in the (Saskatchewan Health Authority) but most specifically, it means for us he will not be involved in the supervision of medical students or residents while we proceed with this investigation.

“When somebody is saying things that are at such great variance with all of our experts and worldwide experts and public safety is involved and could be jeopardized through these differences of view, I think we have to recognize that that’s a special situation that requires urgent and extraordinary action and that’s our reason for acting at this time.”

Smith said the university encourages “public debate of important societal issues.”

“However, as identified in USask’s Medical Faculty Policy, our medical faculty are subject to the ethical and professional standards governing the practice of medicine, and USask is responsible to review concerns raised about its medical faculty in relation to these standards.”

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He said it is the school’s intention to look into the matter, including hearing from Christian and his perspectives.

“That then would be the investigation results that would lead to a recommendation to myself for a decision,” Smith said.

Global News has contacted the Saskatchewan Health Authority for comment but did not receive a reply by deadline.

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