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Exploring the Question of Ethics In Our Post Pandemic Medical System

October 30, 202327 min read

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In this week’s episode, I introduce you to Dr Julie Ponesse.

Dr. Julie holds a PhD in Philosophy (Western, 2008) with areas of specialization in Ethics and Ancient Philosophy. She has a master’s in philosophy with Collaborative Specialization in Bioethics from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Ethics from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. Dr. Ponesse has published in the areas of Ancient Philosophy, Ethical Theory, and Applied Ethics, and has taught at universities in Canada and the US for 20 years.

In the fall of 2021, Dr. Ponesse was terminated after she refused to comply with her university's COVID vaccine mandate. In response, she recorded a special video directed to her first-year ethics students. That video went viral. In December 2021, Dr. Ponesse released a book titled My Choice: The Ethical Case Against Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates, a personal account of the battle and its aftermath that examines the ethical and philosophical dimensions of our pandemic response.

Dr. Ponesse is a 2023 Brownstone Fellow and the Chief of Medical Ethics for The Wellness Company.

She will be discussing the following:

Medical ethics and patient care during COVID-19. (0:04)

The challenges faced by healthcare professionals in the current medical system. (5:02)

Informed consent in medicine and personal autonomy. (11:41)

Creating new systems for healthcare and wellness. (19:12)

Wellness company and its community advocacy. (27:29)

Join me for this episode of Mommy Heal Thyself to explore ways to deal with the question of ethics in our current health care system.

(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Intro  0:00 

Welcome to Mommy Heal Thyself.  We featured guests that provide you with the tools, resources and strategies you need to say no to a life of pain and suffering all forms of preventable disease, toxic drugs and unnecessary surgeries. We hope to inspire you to boldly reclaim your ability to heal, and to serve ones to love.

Dr Michelle  0:04 

Okay, I think yep, we're recording good. And I'm going to make sure my notes are here. And now I can go ahead and press record recording in progress


Dr Michelle  0:33 

Okay, welcome welcome my beautiful sisters. Today I have the beautiful Dr. Julie pennisi, who holds a PhD in philosophy, Western philosophy with areas of specialization in ethics and ancient philosophy as well. She has a master's in philosophy with collaborative specialization in bioethics from the University of Toronto, and a diploma in ethics from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. She is published in areas of ancient philosophy, ethical theory, and Applied Ethics and she has taught at universities in Canada and the United States for over 20 years. So we are very honored to have her with us today. Now, this is when it gets to see thank you in the fall of 2021. She was terminated. After she refused to comply with her University's mandates. And you know, the ones that I'm talking about. In response, she recorded a special video directed to her first year ethics students and that video went viral. So I'm encouraging you guys to look it up to see if it's still there. It's probably not there, you know, they picked everything down. But anyway, in December of 2021, she released her book titled My choice. The ethical case against vaccine mandates, a personal account of the battle and its aftermath. Now, she is the 2023 Fellow and sheep of medical ethics for the wellness company. I thank you for joining us today. Dr. Vanessi.


Dr Julie  2:19 

Well, that's a very warm welcome. Thank you so much. I know there's so much to explore what's going on in the world today, it feels like every day you wake up it things have shifted a little bit more and you're trying to diagnose and figure out what's going on today. What happened overnight, how do I have to rally the resources to face today so, so much to talk about, and thank you so much for having me.


Dr Michelle  2:42 

Well, you know, before we started today, I was sharing with you the fact that I had recently yesterday, went in for my annual checkup, which I haven't done in several years because of all the interesting mess that had been going on and I refuse to mask and all that kind of stuff. In any case, I moved to a new area. So with this is a new practitioner, I went in and I said you know what? I have some tightness in the chest that I've been noticing. It's kind of you know, weird, and I thought that perhaps she would start to do a deep dive into like, well, who are you and let me get to know you and and what are you going through? But no, the first thing she jumped to was, oh, let's do an EKG and the echo and a stress test. And I'm just amazed and so I would love for us to have this conversation about what are the ethics within the medical paradigm at this point in time, in terms of, are we just cash cows for our doctors, you know, what are your thoughts?


Dr Julie  3:50 

So many interesting things about that experience that you had and then embedded within the larger cultural force that COVID has unveiled. I think what's happened over the last three years is not about a viral experience per se, but that allowed us to see into almost to rip open the fabric of what's going on behind the medical establishment and its collusion with big industry, Big Pharma and broader political factors. So interesting, but it occurs to me when you were talking about your experience just as one patient with one doctor in that one room, the psychology of it is so interesting, right? You say that your physician went right to thinking about one size fits all scientific, quantifiable, objective tests and measures and that does two things right off the bat. One is it D individualizes. You and the experience. So anything particular about you your history, your experience, your recent and more distant medical history, the psychology stresses, you're going through family diamond dynamics, any of that is all missed by the tests that you mentioned. Right? And the other thing is that by ordering those tests, immediately, she's able to displace responsibility for doing further exploratory work with you in that moment, at least, and charitably. I mean, it's very easy to say I think that the pharmaceutical industry has just captured physicians and is using them to earn money. It's easy to say that and there is a certain element of that going on, I think. But if you compound that with the fact that as a defense mechanism, or health care professionals are exhausted trying to keep up with exponential growth in medical technology and a shift in culture in medicine, and unclear expectations. And now with this whole COVID situation, trying to navigate what people are thinking and feeling and what's acceptable and how do I keep my job and keep my license and keep my professional reputation because history shows and we saw this with Nuremberg and the physicians that were employed by the Nazis that the Nazis went off after interestingly, the professional spurs they went after physicians and judges. And I think that's in part because you needed to control those institutions in order to affect the broader project that they were engaging in. But also because as intelligent and educated and probably conscientious as they were, they're also a group of people who was very motivated by what others think of them, very perfectionist oriented. And so they're easier to control than the average person and sometimes and we've seen that over the last two years. So judges the media, top government officials top health care providers proved to be more complacent than the average person in society.


Dr Michelle  6:59 

Well, you know, the reality is that in a way of speaking, they have more to lose. Meaning i My heart goes out to medical doctors I am so when people ask me if I'm a medical doctor, as I knew, please don't throw that one on me. Well, well, I do not envy their position. You know, as you said, they're caught between a rock and a hard place and we saw so many of our beloved medical doctors who spoke up who lost their licenses, who were Lam blasted by others in their fields. And they were, they were scorned. I mean, you it's like you're caught between a rock and a hard place. And even with regards to the entirety of the medical profession right now. I know that the majority or I'd like to believe the majority of people who go into this field, do it because they love people because they really genuinely want to help people. And yet they're caught in this zone where in order to pay back the medical bills in terms of the schooling and the insurance that they for malpractice, whatever it is, they had in their own, they have to comply to that insurance paradigm that says 15 minutes you're in and you're out. You know, how many tests can you get her for? How many shots can you get her for? And that's the only way they can see to make money to just stay above water. And I saw some alarming statistics that the number of general practitioners has decreased significantly over the past couple of years. You know, people are retiring or dangerous completely leaving and move. I don't know where that's gonna leave us.


Dr Julie  8:43 

When you say that you wouldn't want to be a healthcare professional right now. I think about this a lot. And as you say, health professionals are they're motivated by these virtuous ideals help people heal people. Something in them is connected to the humanity and other people. And if they start to allow into their psyche, the idea that every single little thing they might be doing during the day is undermining that idea that you might be treating people with drugs and surgeries that are unnecessary and harmful, that you might be missing things you shouldn't be missing. But overall, as a culture, we seem to be making people less healthy rather than more you let those ideas into your psyche. Immediately. You have and I'm sure many of your viewers will have heard this term over the last few years. Immediately you have the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance which is this experience of having to hold two incompatible ideas in the mind at once. I'm a healer, I'm an injure. How do I deal with that? And that is one of the most difficult experiences and what it does is it breaks your integrity, your wholeness and people it's human nature to want to live by stories. We live according to the write the stories that we tell ourselves and stories to be compelling need to have internal coherence. So if you introduce a dragon at the beginning of the story that breathes fire, you can't have a breathing, breathing and cold blue smoke a little while later because the audience says wait a minute, that doesn't matter. If you're a healthcare professional, whose job it is, he has a history of who you define your life by the work you do to help people and all of a sudden you might start getting an inkling of an idea that you've hurt people. That you've killed people that you have prevented children from having an immune system in the future that you have caused women to miscarry their babies more than once. Yes, I mean, that's the severity of what we're seeing now. And so my point is that you were to do everything possible to make that not the story you have to deal with. Eight you're gonna make you're going to ignore the evidence that might be coming out suggesting that when the pharmaceutical companies are doing is not only causing harm, but manipulating you as a physician and your patients as patients and individuals, you are going to try to rationalize and reconcile. What we saw in the Pfizer report for example, about the side effects that Pfizer knew about their vaccines are going to try to do everything possible to make those institutions noble so that you can be a noble representative. of them. And all of this is happening at a subconscious level for sure. But all of that is to say that what went on in your doctor's office is I think, a symptom of this much deeper psychology, let alone the bigger economic and political forces that are that are at play today. And we were talking earlier about informed consent. Well, when I when I went through grad school, studying bioethics, we hardly ever talked about it because it was a given. It was taken for granted. It was well clearly you give the patient informed consent. I mean, you couldn't really write a thesis on informed consent because it would just be so it would just be preaching to the choir. It was so accepted. It was so and then. So when I started speaking out against the mandates two years ago, it was almost three years ago now and I was using the language of informed consent and it wasn't getting any traction in the bioethical community. Or the legal community or with intelligent friends, because just didn't. The thing about informed consent is it is fundamentally individualistic. It's up to what you want to do. Not what is the right answer from an objective point of view, not what your healthcare provider thinks a rational person should choose to do. Right, it's up to what you want to do. Given your deeply held beliefs and values, your experiences, your things like how risk averse you are. Yeah. And those all have to do with your personality and individual things about you. And so we're seeing that lossing over of the individual, and you're gonna lose freedom. Whenever you do that. If you don't care about the individual, why would you care about you being free or me being free? Doesn't matter. Our job is just to be a cog in a wheel of this bigger, collectivist system. We should do our part. We're all in it together, get vaccinated when we tell you and so you were saying earlier that you heard people outside the waiting involve a scullery about getting flu shots and flu shot as soon as you are the discordant voice. in that choir and say well, I don't know. Like it's like you throw a monkey wrench into the kind of


Dr Michelle  13:35 

the kind of that created the dissonance for her because she she must have asked me at least three different times. Do you want your flu shot? Do you want your flu shot? Do you want your flu shot and each time I was like, No, it was like it she's like, well, you know, I have to ask you this and I'm like, No, you don't really have to ask me this, but whatever. But no, let me correct myself. According to the guidelines that she has agreed to with insurance companies and that entire paradigm. She has to ask that question. So I have to correct myself. And you know, what you're saying regarding informed consent is something that we in the natural health care field have been talking about. For decades. You know, it's just that now with what happened in COVID, as you said, it kind of open things up for most people to be able to see that dissonance that we've been talking about and stomping about for decades, as mamas and you know, dealing with the shots with our children and things of that nature. And it goes I think, as you said to an even deeper level where what I tell people is, I understand when our doctors do the things that they do because we have basically made them medical deities. So I tell them, Look, you have to fire your MD and what that means more so than anything like you said is going into your mind and recognizing that this is just another human being just like you are and the role of that human being is not to take responsibility for your life, but rather to give you the information, the support and the context for you to make those decisions and for you to have the responsibility of what happens in your life. And because we put so much pressure on our doctors, it's very, very difficult. Like I said, I can't even imagine having to maneuver that minefield where you're bouncing between the needs of your patient, the medical boards, the insurance companies, and the quote unquote, public consensus whatever it is and governmental regulations. Ah, goodness talk about ethical dilemmas.


Dr Julie  15:56 

One of the things that's so sad about that story that you're telling is that we've spent a long time emerging from a really 2000 year old paternalistic idea of medicine dating all the way back to the Greeks, which is that you should you know, the doctor was an unimpeachable source of information. The final arbiter, the one who makes the decision, and that patients often just kind of metal with that. They just kind of interfere. They create a kind of messiness. And that idea persisted all the way through the medieval period and really up until about the 1970s. When we started seeing some of the harms that that caused and then some legal cases arose, recognizing that surgeons can cause some quite serious harm like patients are under the night so to speak. And so the the legal the case law started creating some traction in academia and ethics. And then we started developing this language of informed consent in all these bioethical principles, informed consent of which was usually one of them. And so we spent 2000 years moving away from that paternalism. And we've enjoyed maybe 30 years of an autonomy based bioethical idea. Anyway, the degree to which that infiltrated into medical practice I think is probably questionable, but now we've totally reverted back to that. Right people just say, Well, my doctor says, or my sets are met MD online or whatever you're looking at says, and there's no room for making your own choices. And a lot of people have been asking me lately, you know, they say, Well, we've spent so much time talking about the problems the last two years or the last three years, where do we go now? What do we do now? And that's exactly the right question to be asking, right? Because we have been dwelling on all the negative, you know what went wrong? What did the pharmaceutical companies do? What was the government not too much Schwab up to and all these things are reasonable to focus on. I think it's especially reasonable given the fact that we were caught off guard or we felt caught off guard, and we were trying to sort out what happened to us. We're trying to diagnose a horrific series of events. And so to dwell on the what's the problem, and then backward looking what led to that problem made a ton of sense at the time. But you can't dwell there forever because ultimately, we have lives to live and as you get older, you realize that we're on this earth for a surprisingly short amount of time. And you also realize that you as an individual being as arrogant as we'd like to be sometimes cannot control circumstances outside of ourselves. We can't control other people, we can influence them with what we do and what we say, but we can't ultimately control them. So the question is, what do we do in this post COVID world? How do we act? How do we move forward? What are the best options for an individual


Dr Michelle  18:52 

so what are what are the things that we can do proactively? Meaning, as you said, we have made the analysis of what quote unquote, went wrong. So where do we go from here? How do we move forward?


Dr Julie  19:08 

I think what we're gonna say here will just be the tip of an iceberg. That is a much bigger conversation that we'll all need to be having. But let me say two things. One of which is a bit abstract and probably will sound a bit disappointing for your listeners for everybody. And then the other one is much more practical. So the first one this abstract idea is that as moral beings you know, we can make choices about what we do for better, for better or for worse, we are going to need to take more responsibility for all the spheres of our lives than we've ever had to do before. And your listeners are women largely understand probably mothers and grandmothers, aunts, sisters, whatever weird. Life is, you know, I mean, I, I'm a working mother, I have a young child. I have a husband who works full time and I navigating all the challenges in the world to do with trying to figure out how to school your child and navigating relationships that have morphed or broken down I mean, all of these burdens. But I think the thing we've realized is that we can't rely on news agencies to give us unquestionable facts unadulterated facts anymore. We can't rely on healthcare professionals to be working for our interests, clearly, as opposed to the interests of pharmaceutical country companies or themselves. We can't rely on judges to make impartial decisions and influenced by what's going on in culture. upstream from them. And so that means that we need to take responsibility. That's wonderful news in a way because taking responsibility is a kind of self authentication. You feel alive, you feel free. But the other side of that coin is that there's a lot of work to do. And now the risks and benefits of the choices you make are really, really on your shoulders. One of the things we need to do, I think, you know, I spent several years as you can probably imagine, trying to work within the system I wrote affidavits or witnesses or reports for for legal cases, trying to change how judges were going to rule about the mandates. And you can probably imagine how they all went. And I came to realize after a while that When you undergo as significant a paradigm shift is how we live as citizens and how our institutions try to govern us and control us. You can you have two choices. You can either continue to try to work within the system and change it or you can create new systems that the first for a long time and I'm now realizing that I don't think it can work anymore. I think we're at a point that we need to create new systems. We need to raise the old ones to the ground and start over again. And because they're really stubborn and they're not wanting to be disassembled, we need to start creating new parallel systems. While they're that's one of the reasons why I joined the wellness company. I wasn't at the time looking for a new position, you know, busy with family and also probably to be honest, a bit of apathy about what was going on in the world and it was hard to know what one could do. And foster Colson, who founded the wellness company. He said what we're trying to do is create a parallel healthcare system. One that puts the patient first where you make decisions about your health. Nobody's forcing anything on you. It provides information so you can do the research, not information that doctors look at so they can make decisions for you. That I think is wholly empowering. I think it's where we're at. I think it's what we have to do. And I think there will be a momentum to this sort of thing. You see it also happening in the homeschooling industry, and people moving back to smaller hobby farms and looking for food sources that don't come from the big chain food stores. So I think we see it in all in a lot of different parts of life. And you know, my interest is in healthcare and providing ethical health care options for people so I'm especially interested in what the wellness company is doing and we were providing in a practical way. We're trying to provide ways for people to recover physically recover their body from what's been happening over the last few years. So we provide supplements things like spike support and and Mito support and think thank goodness a lot of people are finding a lot of relief from those products and they have found that when they stopped taking them and then they realize the difference that it makes, and so they're very happy about that, but I think even broader than that. We're trying to provide some confidence for people. You know, we, you can you can get on the phone with one of our physicians or pharmacists, we have a freedom from pharma, a program whereby people can learn how to get deep prescribe from all of the heavy pharmaceuticals that they're on. And that doesn't just create a physiological change or a financial change in people's lives. It also creates a freeing feeling right? I mean, are you going to feel better when you know you can take care of yourself you can fuel yourself with food if you know how to do it right or with natural supplements if you know how to do it, right. You don't have to be dependent on these pharmaceutical products but more often than not have as many side effects as positive benefits and I'm not anti anti pharmaceutical drugs, by all means. I just think we have become so heavily reliant on them, that we're making ourselves as sick by that Reliance as we are making ourselves well again. So we really need I think to create these parallel systems that put the individual first that provide us information that that ultimately end at the end of the day we make a decision that is a yes is as respected as a no or or vice versa.


Dr Michelle  25:05 

And that is one of the reasons why I was tickled pink when I learned about the wellness company, you know, as you can see from our podcast named mommy heal thyself. We are working with women who are very much empowered to take responsibility. But the question has always been, how do we navigate where do we get the people that we can trust? And so when I learned about the wellness company that Dr. makalah created in a in alignment with other doctors, I was tickled when I learned about your program with giving people the opportunity to get consultations to you know if you wanted to get a second opinion. When you go with like I went into you know the doctor and if she gave me a pill, the first thing I would want to do is call someone at the Met at the wellness company. Exactly what do you think about this, you know, because I work within the natural field so I tell people, I know nothing about drugs, other than what I can see on web MBD, and all those things and I'm always looking at the side effects and everything. But I recognize at the same time as you said that there's a significant part of our population that are so far gone, that they may need medical intervention in the form of drugs, medications, in order to get them off of the cliff so to speak, and once they're off of the precipice, then you can, you know, put in all of the other reinforcements so as my mom says, There's a time and a place for everything under the heavens, you know, and so I'm definitely not anti pharmaceutical, so much as it is that I'm recognizing there's a time and a place for everything and instead of it being our go to, it should be our last resort. You know, so it's a very different type of paradigm. But I really, really appreciate you being able to share this information with us because as you as you said, people are not aware of their options. You do not have to go with what this being presented to you within that little office, that little cubicle. You can go out and get more information. And I thank you ladies for being here. We are creating that community with it takes a village ministry, we're creating that community where you're going to be able to access community advocacy, resources, education, from people that aren't motivated by monetary incentives. When I looked at the wellness company, I kept asking myself how in the world are they doing it? Your membership fee, which is like even the top tier of 200 a month and it includes getting supplements. Oh, like that's like practically unheard of. You know that it's not being motivated by a monetary kind of incentive. It's, it's, I'm just flabbergasted. Well,


Dr Julie  28:19 

one thing I would say is I think we we're in a period where we all need to do a healing across a lot of dimensions. There's physical healing, and we talked earlier about some of the supplements that can help to address that for sure. But there's also there's healing and relationships that has to happen. And when a new company like this comes along and says I have some product or I have some services I have second opinions to offer you free to perform a we have we have medical emergency kits, all these things and you hear about this, it would be really reasonable in our current climate to be skeptical because we our trust has been broken so much. And it's really hard to believe that there could be a company that's financially viable, which TWC very much is that it doesn't have an ulterior motive. That could actually make some difference. In your life. I think it's really hard to believe all of those things and trust something that it can be shattered overnight, but not built overnight. Exactly. I would encourage your listeners if you're interested go and have a look at the website so you see Doc health and have a browse around there are profiles for all the board members. There's information about the products, information about some of the different incentives that we have, or some of the different, you know, ventures that we have going on. And I think as I said before, it's a time where we need to take responsibility for our health and for our families, sources of information and our mental well being. And we need to start by investigating the new options that are available to us. And this is one and it's certainly one that I feel very passionate about and very confident about. And I you know there's some testimonies on our website that explain how it's been able to help people just giving them confidence. One of the first things I understand people say when they call in and talk to a physician is just I don't feel crazy anymore. And there's healing just in that.


Closing: Thank you for tuning in for this episode of Mommy Heal Thyself, if you liked what we're doing here, please share subscribe, like us and leave a comment. Your feedback is very much appreciated.

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Dr Michelle Gamble DN

DR. MICHELLE GAMBLE, DN is an author, educator, mentor, and speaker who specializes in assisting persons with chronic illness to heal themselves so they can break free from pain and frustration and live with power, protection, promise, purpose, promise, prosperity, and peace. She has been a professional educator for over 25 years and a natural health care provider for over 15 years. Dr. Gamble is also the mother of five children. She travels globally and around the country speaking and consulting with individuals and groups.

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