Updated: Sep 22, 2021
In Pennsylvania, where masks are required to be worn inside elementary and secondary school buildings, the state has warned doctors not to provide parents with a letter exempting their kids from wearing those masks, as Joel Yeager, MD, of Heritage Family Health in Newmanstown, PA, has been doing.
Listen to the article:
The idea of medical professionals protesting against vaccination and mask requirements is mind boggling enough, but to have physicians actually intervening and advising parents not to protect themselves or their children from a deadly virus that has claimed 676,000 victims to date...that is simply unthinkable.
Do they not remember their Hippocratic oath? First, here are some details:
In the Oregon order signed September 2, the medical board revoked the license of Steven Arthur LaTulippe, MD, a family doctor who had practiced in Dallas, OR, and specialized in pain and addiction medicine. The board also levied a $10,000 civil fine against the doctor.
According to the Medical Board, Dr. LaTulippe regularly told patients that masks are ineffective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, referring patients to a YouTube video claiming that masks are ineffective. He also regularly advised patients that masks were dangerous to their health, the Board said.
"Although masks vary in effectiveness," the Medical Board wrote, "even the simplest mask can be expected to contain the largest, most infectious droplets. The effectiveness of masks has been scientifically shown to decrease disease transmission in the current pandemic."
The Board noted that "The standard of care as set forth in formal guidance promulgated by the Oregon Health Authority during the relevant periods of the COVID-19 declared state of emergency included requiring health care practitioners to wear masks and require patients and staff to wear masks in the clinical setting."
The mask violations were just part of the reason that Dr. LaTulippe's license was pulled. The Medical Board's investigations found that he mismanaged numerous patients he had been treating for pain or opioid addiction.
"Licensee's COVID-19 screening protocols did not include taking temperatures on all patients who presented at the clinic," and did not include asking patients if they had been in close contact with any person who had COVID-19 symptoms or who had tested positive, the order states.
Instead, it said, "licensee had trained his receptionist 'to look at [the patient] and just take a look at them and see if they look sick,' and, if the patient was 'smiling and happy,' the receptionist was instructed to ask how the patient was feeling."
If the patient reported they felt fine and were not ill, the patient was directed to the waiting area until the doctor's wife, who also did not wear a mask, led the patient to the exam room.
And Now, in Pennsylvania
The state issued its warning to doctors about letters exempting school children from wearing masks following reports that Dr. Yeager had been issuing such letters to parents.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health told WGAL News 8 that some doctors were offering mask exemptions to people they don't even treat. Physicians doing so could face disciplinary action, the department warned.
Yeager reportedly had posted a sample mask exemption letter on his website and his practice's Facebook page, but it has since been removed from both places, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In the letter, circulated by anti-mask Facebook groups, Yeager decried other physicians "who have chosen to abandon their patients in their hour of greatest need" by not providing exemptions for masking and vaccination, the Inquirer said.Yeager also listed "adverse health effects" due to masking, citing two journal articles that have been retracted.
Following up, the state Department of Education is now advising school officials that letters that "do not include evidence of a student's relevant health issue should not be accepted."
The Hippocratic Oath
As patients, we assume that our doctors have sworn to the Hippocratic oath and adhere to its tenets. It gives us a sense of trust; that the doctor to whom we have entrusted our health, indeed, our very lives, will look out for us; that they will adhere to science, not their own political beliefs, when they treat us.
One of those tenets in the oath reads as follows:
"I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure."
Wearing a mask is prevention. Preventing Covid 19 is preferable to a patient being admitted to the intensive care unit, being placed on a ventilator, gasping for a final breath, and becoming one of those 676,000 victims.
Here's another of those tenets in the oath:
"I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."
In other words, doc, you not only need to look after the health of your patients, but also the rest of us who could be infected by this incredibly contagious virus.
If you don't do that, like Dr. LaTulippe in Oregon, you deserve to lose your license to practice medicine. You have given up the right to be entrusted with our care.